A six-point deficit in the final game turned out not to be an issue for Queens.
Queens trailing 11-5 in the decisive fifth game rallied with a 10-1 run to close out the conference match and beat No. 20 Purdue Fort Wayne 25-23, 23-25, 16-25, 25-23, 15-12 on Saturday in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Ruben Emmerich jump started the late-game comeback with a kill and then had three blocks in a four-play span to help tie the score at 11-11. Purdue Fort Wayne was able to retake the lead at 12-11, but Queens responded winning the next four points, including Jack Brinkman having back-to-back aces to complete the comeback.
Brinkman along with the walk-off ace ended with a match-high five aces.
The outside attacker also had a team-high 11 kills with their final kill coming towards the start of the Royals’ fifth-game run. Brinkman in the fourth game had the game-winning kill to end a 6-0 Purdue Fort Wayne run and prevent an overtime session.
Brinkman was one of three Royals with more than seven kills. Emmerich finished with nine kills, and middle attacker Stirling Sims had nine kills on a team-best .538 attack percentage.
Emmerich and Sims each also contributed a match-high six blocks against Purdue Fort Wayne (7-5, 1-2 MIVA). The two players teamed up for two blocks in the fifth-game comeback, and Sims had blocks on three consecutive plays during the run.
Despite the loss, Purdue Fort Wayne out-hit Queens .264 to .240 and had three players with double-digit kills.
Pin-hitter Mark Frazier led all players with 22 kills on a .425 attack percentage. Middle attacker Bryce Walker finished with 14 kills on a match-best .600 attack percentage, while pin-hitter Jon Diedrich added 17 kills.
This is the first time in its program history that Queens (6-7, 2-2 MIVA) has defeated a team ranked in the national coaches poll. The win also comes a day after the Mastodons defeated the Royals in four games to open the two-match series.