The Drew University men’s volleyball team earned its first victory in team history on Thursday, Jan. 27 with a 3-0 sweep at St. Joseph’s College-Brooklyn. The Rangers, competed in the fifth match of their inaugural season, winning by scores of 25-14, 25-9, 25-15.
Leading the way for Drew was Omarf Ortega-Reyes (‘24) and Jacob Sledz (’25), who posted 13 kills apiece. Ephraim Smith (’25) contributed eight kills, four service aces and a pair of blocks. Huriel Perez (’25) dished out 38 assists, and classmate Bryan Do (‘25) scooped 11 digs.
The first set was close in the early going, and it was tied 11-11 before the Rangers took control, outscoring the Bears 14-3 the rest of the way. Sledz served on seven consecutive points at one point during the decisive stretch.
Drew carried its momentum into the second set, outscoring St. Joseph’s 10-2 to open the stanza. Smith served on the last eight points of the run for the Rangers, who broke it wide open with a 10-0 run. Perez served on the final nine points, giving his team an insurmountable 22-5 lead.
The Rangers never trailed in the final set, and they opened up some breathing room midway through it with a 6-2 run that gave them an 18-10 lead. Drew clinched its historic victory with a match-ending 4-0 run.
The Blue and Green hit a season-high .421 for the match, including .588 in the second set.
Men’s volleyball served up a season-high with 15 aces and the Rangers captured the first home match in team history with a 3-0 sweep of Mount Aloysius College Friday, Feb. 11 in the Baldwin Gym. The Rangers won by scores of 25-8, 25-16 and 25-19.
The Rangers piled up six more aces than in any of the previous matches this season, with Ortega-Reyes and Sledz firing up six apiece. Drew also had a big hitting night, finishing with its second-best percentage of the season at .367. Ortega-Reyes and Sledz posted nine kills apiece while Smith threw down seven kills.
Huriel Perez (’25) and David Hoyt (’24) dished out 17 and nine assists, respectively, for the Rangers while Do scooped eight digs.
Drew came out on fire in the opening set, hitting .438. The Rangers never trailed after jumping out to an 11-2 lead, and the Mounties (2-4) were unable to get closer than eight the rest of the way. Drew continued to cruise in the second set, opening with a 9-2 run. Mount Aloysius rallied to pull to within four, and it trailed just 20-15 before the Rangers ended on a 5-1 spurt.
The Mounties took their first and only lead of the night at 3-2 in the third set, but Drew came right back with an 8-1 run. However, the visitors rallied to cut the deficit to three and again were close in the late going. It was just 20-16 before the Rangers used a 5-0 run to pull away. Ortega-Reyes ended the match with a kill.
The following day on February 12, the Drew University men’s volleyball team came away with a split in a tri-match at Saint Joseph’s-Long Island on Saturday afternoon.
The Rangers opened the day with a 3-0 sweep of Brooklyn College, winning by scores of 25-16, 25-12 and 25-20, before dropping a 3-0 decision to St. Joseph’s (25-14, 25-9, 25-20).
Versus Brooklyn, Sledz posted 15 kills, 12 digs and three service aces while Smith posted a season-high 13 kills and just one error on 22 attempts for a .545 hitting performance. Perez handed out 31 assists while Hoyt registered eight digs.
Against Saint Joseph’s, a team that now boasts an 8-2 record, Ortega-Reyes led the way with six kills while Smith tallied five kills. Perez passed out 17 assists while Sledz contributed eight digs.
The Rangers lost their next two games against St. Joseph’s and Kean, respectively.
The Rangers take a week off before hosting Sage College on Tuesday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m at home.