No. 9/8 Lewis had plenty of time to prepare for its season opener – and it showed.
The defending MIVA champions set a single-match program record with 15 aces as it swept Maryville 25-13, 25-11, 25-12 on Tuesday in Romeoville, Illinois.
This season-opening win was supposed to be the Flyers’ fourth match of the season. However, the team’s initial season opener against UC Irvine and its road trip against Lincoln Memorial and King last week was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Seven Flyers had at least one ace against the first-year program from St. Louis. Lewis also finished with three more aces than service errors.
Outside attacker Cole Brillhart led all players with a career-high five aces, including four aces within a five-play span midway through the second game. Preseason All-American setter Kevin Kauling had three aces, while middle attacker Antonio Rodriguez and opposite Christian Payer each added two aces.
Kauling guided the offense to more than a .650 attack percentage in two of the three games as Lewis out-hit Maryville .516 to negative-.018.
Along with his serving performance, Brillhart had a match-high 10 kills on a .500 attack percentage. Preseason All-American middle attacker Tyler Mitchem also had eight kills and hit .545, and opposite Carter Burzlaff contributed eight kills on a .357 attack percentage.
Opposite Mason Mortimer in Maryville’s inaugural match led the team with five kills.