- MEN'S SPORTS
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- INSIDE ATHLETICS
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ST. LOUIS – [BOX SCORE] No. 2 Missouri Baptist withstood No. 4 Warner with two narrow set-victories, before pulling away with a 3-0 sweep. The Spartans finished pool play 2-0 with the win and advanced to the semifinals on Friday night.
The Spartans trailed throughout early, but a late 4-0 run helped change momentum in set one. A kill from Mico Janicijevic and two service aces from Cam Hibbbler helped turn a two-point deficit into an 18-16 lead. Janicijevic had a team-high five kills in the first set and finished with 13 on 27 swings.
Warner spoiled set-point once for MBU, tying the set at 24-24. Janicijevic got the lead back with a kill however, and MBU won it on a service ace from Daniel Prada. They navy and white survived despite hitting a set-worst .179. Six service errors on the Royals helped the cause.
The 4th-seeded Royals jumped out to a 6-2 start in the second set. Head coach John Yehling halted the momentum with a timeout, and from there, MBU found its rhythm again. A kill from Cam Hibbler eventually gave the Spartans a 15-13 lead midway through. Hibbler finished with eight kills on 12 swings and chipped in four service aces.
Despite the comeback, Warner ensured MBU would need another to take the set. A kill from Gonzalo Fernandez gave the Royals the lead at 23-21, two points away from the set. A costly service error got the Spartans back within one, and they took it from there.
The back-and-forth action continued until the 27-25 win. Hibbler had two huge kills down the stretch, the final gave the Spartans a 25-24 advantage. After a service error to tie the set back up, Janicijevic posted a kill to put it back at set point. MBU won set two after a Warner attack error.
Kills from Kyle Foley and Luka Cajic set the tone in the set three win. After two narrow wins, MBU pulled away for the sweep with a 25-18 win. The Spartans jumped out to a 7-2 lead and never trailed. Hitting .440 as a unit in the third helped with the dominance.
Cajic had another efficient match with 11 kills on 21 swings. Foley added in 34 assists and Daniel Prada posted a team-high eight digs. The Spartans advanced out of Pool B with the win and will play in one of the semifnals (4 and 7pm) tomorrow night.