SAU men's volleyball seniors and their parents
SAU men's volleyball seniors and their parents
(RV)Cardinal Stritch University
(10)St. Ambrose
Men's Volleyball - Thu, Mar. 30, 2017

Two days after playing for a share of the regular-season conference title, No. 10 St. Ambrose was forced to settle for a second-place tie after a 3-0 loss to Cardinal Stritch Thursday night at Lee Lohman Arena.

The 25-23, 25-22, 25-22 loss dropped the Bees (15-11) into a second-place tie with the Wolves with matching 7-3 league marks. The teams split their matches this season as SAU defeated CSU in Milwaukee in late February. Robert Morris (10-0 CCAC) had already clinched the regular-season title after defeating St. Ambrose Tuesday.

Thursday's loss also put a damper on Senior Night as prior to the match St. Ambrose recognized its four seniors - Austin Adank, Morty Berglind, Jeff Habjan and Andy Murphy - playing at home for the last time.

Neither team led by more than five points at any point in the match. Each set went down to the wire, with the teams trading points, until the Bees faltered late.

In the opener, SAU led as late as 18-17 and a Berglind kill had the set tied at 21-21. But after a Bee serving error, the Wolves had back-to-back blocks to build a 24-21 lead. Riley Anderson put down a kill to fight off one set point, before Cardinal Stritch claimed the 25-22 win.

The second set saw St. Ambrose battle back from a 15-10 deficit. Kills from Nathan Heller, Scott MacGillis and Anderson, along with blocks from Anderson and Zach Schmidt, came as part of a 7-1 run that gave SAU a 17-16 lead. After surrendering the lead, the Bees regained their footing to take a 23-22 lead on another MacGillis kill. But that would be SAU's final point of the set as CSU closed with a 3-0 run for a two-set lead.

After taking an early two-point lead in the third, the Bees erased a three-point deficit to take a 22-21 lead on consecutive kills from Schmidt. Cardinal Stritch answered with two points before an Anderson kill tied things at 23-23. Again, that was it for the Bees. The Wolves posted two straight kills to complete the win.

MacGillis finished with match highs of 15 kills and 11 digs. Anderson added 10 kills and 10 digs. Austin Royer led all players with 42 assists. Murphy came up with 10 digs.

SAU gets a final tune-up this weekend for the upcoming CCAC Tournament by facing Dordt and Graceland at a triangular in Lamoni, Iowa, Saturday. The CCAC Tournament, with an automatic bid to the NAIA National Tournament on the line, will be Friday-Saturday, Apr. 7-8, in Arlington Heights, Ill.