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Men's Volleyball - Sat, Mar. 4, 2017 - posted by Seth Preuss
Zach Greene led HIU in the second match with 11 kills (Photo by Liza Rosales)
Zach Greene led HIU in the second match with 11 kills (Photo by Liza Rosales)
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(11)Hope International
18-25,25-19,20-25,23-25
University of California-Merced

MERCED, CA – The Royals traveled to face UC Merced on Friday and Saturday, Mar. 3 & 4, in a back-to-back weekend series. The Royals had a chance to lock up a spot in the NAIA Unaffiliated Tournament but instead were swept by the Bobcats and will now have to wait for the results of the Bobcats versus Benedictine-Mesa (AZ).

HIU was victim to the Bobcats for the first time in program history on the first night with a four-set loss in the first match of the trip in the 7 pm game. The Royals were able to win the second set to force the issue, but were not able to overcome the Bobcats' home-court advantage.

Max Osmundson (SO/Las Vegas, NV) led the Royals in the first match with 12 kills and also tallied six digs and three blocks in the loss. Enrique Lopez (SR/Santa Ana, CA) dished 25 assists and served up a pair of aces to go with six digs. Brian Rivera (JR/Riverside, CA) led the Royals with eight digs in the four-set loss.

The Royals returned to the gym the next day at 3 pm for the rematch and fell in straight sets to UCM to wrap up the trip. Zach Greene (SR/Lombard, IL) tallied a team-high 11 kills and added six digs and three blocks in his effort for the team. Lopez tallied 30 assists in the match and Jared Shirai (SR/Honolulu, HI) tallied eight digs in the loss.

Heading into the weekend, HIU was previously 12-0 against the Bobcats in program history and is now 12-2 all-time against UCM after the weekend.

HIU falls to 10-12 overall in their 2017 season and continues a losing skid that now stretches to five in a row – the Royals are 1-4 against other teams in the western half of the NAIA Unaffiliated grouping and will have to rely on their opponents' results if they hope to secure a berth in the NAIA Unaffiliated Tournament.

HIU returns home to host Cal Lutheran and a back-to-back against Benedictine-Mesa (AZ) in its last three home matches of the season – the Royals must win both matches against the Redhawks to give themselves a chance to qualify.

 
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