So much for the Conference Carolinas not being able to compete with any teams from the powerhouse MPSF.
Freshman outside attacker Roberto Perez Vargas had a match-high 20 kills as Erskine beat Cal Baptist 15-25, 26-24, 18-25, 25-15, 19-17 on Saturday in Riverside, Calif., to become the first Conference Carolinas school to beat a team from the MPSF.
Erskine (14-5, 9-1 CC) entered this non-conference match in first place in Conference Carolinas — a NCAA Division II conference in the Southeast that beginning this season became eligible for an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. In addition, the Erskine and Cal Baptist match was the first meeting between the two conferences.
This was the second time in the last three matches that Perez had at least 20 kills. The freshman also had a match-high 19 kills in five-game victory against Hope International on Friday to open the team’s West Coast road trip.
Perez was one of three Erskine players to finish with double-digit kills in the victory against Cal Baptist (4-17, 2-15 MPSF). All-conference outside attacker Michael Michelau had 18 kills and a match-high four aces, while outside attacker Omar Melendez added 10 kills.
Cal Baptist outside attacker Johannes Brink in the loss finished with a team-high 11 kills.
Despite the loss, Cal Baptist out-hit Erskine .211 to .207. Lancers middle attacker Amir Lugo-Rodriguez also led all players with eight blocks.
Cal Baptist has now lost its last five matches and is in 10th place in the MPSF. However, the Lancers entered their match against the Fleet 2-1 in non-conference play, including wins against St. Francis and Princeton.
Erskine with this victory extended its winning streak to a conference-best 11 matches.
The second-year program will next return to conference play following a bye week and needs two more victory to clinch the Conference Carolinas regular season championship.