This article was originally published on the GoLeafs website on Feb. 16.The matchup panned out the way it appeared on paper. The Goshen and Aquinas men’s volleyball teams played to five sets in Goshen on Wednesday night. Both teams are receiving votes in the coaches’ poll, but the Maple Leafs got the win tonight, 25-21, 18-25, 16-25, 25-20, 15-7.
Goshen led for the majority of the first set and got the win. The teams were tied at 12 in the second before Aquinas scored four straight and got all the separation they needed to win set two. The Saints got out to an early lead in the third set, leading 14-5 before coming one set away from winning the match.
However, GC was still in it. Down by three multiple times in the fourth set, the Maple Leafs battled back to take the lead. When it was tied 18-18, Goshen won five straight points with an ace from Michael Wahl in the mix. The Leafs won the fourth set but were down 7-6 in the final set. Then, Christian Rodriguez had a kill and went on to serve. Goshen didn’t lose a point for the rest of the match. The Leafs won the final nine points and won 15-7.
It was a much different story than when the teams squared up back on January 21. Aquinas won with a sweep that night in Grand Rapids, winning 25-21, 25-13, 25-14. Head coach Lauren Ford credits the team’s service reception, offense from multiple players, and better team energy for the reasons the result was different tonight.
Alexander Rabadzhiev had 21 kills and four blocks. Ian Fox recorded ten kills and six blocks. Michael Wahl tallied 36 assists and 12 digs. Lucas Sauder added 13 kills and five blocks. Aquinas had a better hitting percentage and more digs than Goshen. But the purple and white doubled the number of blocks that the Saints had – 12-6.
The Leafs are 6-1 in their last seven matches. Aquinas has lost three straight games after starting the season 8-1. Aquinas received 25 votes in the most recent coaches’ poll, and Goshen had received five.
Goshen is on an extended road trip, starting this Saturday, February 19, in Watertown, Wisconsin. The Leafs face Maranatha Baptist at 4:00 PM EST. The next home game is Wednesday, Match 16, at 7:00 pm against Lawrence Tech.