DENVER – A history-making volleyball season for Lourdes University is over after falling in four sets to Clarke University at the NAIA National Invitational -- 22-25, 25-18, 25-12 and 25-20.
The Gray Wolves end their season, which included a first-ever bid to the tournament, with a record of 17-7.
Lourdes came out firing, stealing a nail-biting opening set in which neither team led by more than three points. The Gray Wolves posted eight team blocks, and limited hitting and serving errors that plagued them during their opening loss to Grand View University on Thursday.
The tight battle continued early into the second set, but after battling to an 8-7 match, the Crusaders pushed their lead with more polished attacks aided by serving errors from the Gray Wolves. Lourdes missed eight serves in the second set.
Clarke opened a wide margin in the third set, stringing together long service runs. While Set 4 featured another tight battle, with Clarke up 22-20 late, the Crusaders punctuated their win on two big kills and reverberating block.
Jo’Lon Clark – the NAIA Great Lakes Player of the Year – finished the match with 14 kills on 49 attempts, followed by Frank Craig with 10 kills. Middle hitter Chris Lockwood added seven kills on no errors and five block assists.