It took a Lewis to beat No. 9/8 Lewis.
Outside attacker A.J. Lewis led all players with a career-high 28 kills on a .478 attack percentage as Lindenwood upset Lewis 18-25, 25-19, 29-27, 19-25, 15-19 on Friday in St. Charles, Missouri.
A.J. Lewis capped off the upset with three kills in the final game. The outside attacker also had back-to-back aces as part of a 5-0 run to end the match and snap the Lions’ 17-match losing streak to the Flyers that dated back to 2014.
Lindenwood (3-5, 1-2 MIVA) had a season-high 13 aces – 12 more aces than Lewis. The defending MIVA champions Lewis (7-4, 1-2 MIVA) entered this match having not allowed more than seven aces in a match this season.
Outside attacker Diego Negron finished with a match-high seven aces, including back-to-back aces to give the Lions the lead midway through the fifth game. Negron also had the game-winning ace in the third-game overtime.
“Our guys did a great job tonight executing the keys we had in place for them,” coach Joe Kosciw said in an interview with Off the Block. “I’m proud of how hard they worked throughout the match even while facing some adversity.
They did a great job controlling the serve and pass game tonight and working hard as the rallies carried on. Connor [Sheehan] did a great job getting A.J. in some favorable positions offensively, Diego was solid from the service line and our middles worked their tails off getting touches on the blocks. Overall it was a very fun, competitive evening of volleyball.”
Lewis suffered its second conference loss in its last three matches despite out-hitting Lindenwood .427 to .326.
The Flyers hit a match-best .636 in its opening-game win and had two players finish the match with double-digit kills and at least a .600 attack percentage.
All-American middle attacker Tyler Mitchem led Lewis with 18 kills and hit .600. Middle attacker Michael Sack also contributed 10 kills and zero errors on a .667 attack percentage.
Along with A.J. Lewis, Negron added 16 kills and opposite Phil Swartz had 10 kills to help Lindenwood earn its first victory against a nationally ranked team since 2019.
This match was initially scheduled for Thursday but was delayed until the following afternoon because of inclement weather.
Both teams will have a one-day turnaround before their next conference matches.
Lindenwood after ending its losing streak to Lewis will next attempt to snap a nine-match losing streak to McKendree as the Lions play host to the Bearcats on Saturday. Lewis will also travel to play Quincy on Saturday.