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Jimmies men's volleyball sweep Morningside for GPAC title

Apr. 20—JAMESTOWN — The GPAC tournament title is staying in Jamestown, after the University of Jamestown got a sweep over Morningside University (25-18, 25-17, 25-21) on Saturday, April 20, at Harold Newman Arena.

The win means the Jimmies have now won four GPAC titles in a row and are 33-0 at home over the first five years of the program.

"It means a lot to take a different group every year and to be able to be successful and to do year in and year out, come in and give it my all, the team giving it their all and doing what we can to put that 33-0 number up there on the board," Jimmies senior Caylor Cox said.

The Jimmies (21-1) sprinted out of the gates to a 7-3 lead in the first set and kept it up to take a 12-6 lead. The Mustangs responded with a run to cut the deficit to 15-9, but an attack error gave the Jimmies the 16-9 lead, and that was enough to see the Jimmies get a 25-18 first-set win.

"I think we started off kind of slow and that dictated the rest of that set," Mustangs head coach Noah Marasco-Ayau said.

The Jimmies continued their fast start in the second set as they got out to a 7-2 lead before the Mustangs responded to cut their deficit down to 9-6. The Jimmies kept it up from there though pushing their lead out to 20-12. After a mini-run from the Mustangs (17-15) late in the set, the Jimmies got a kill from Caylor Cox to get the 25-17 second set win.

The third set was incredibly competitive as there were 12 ties and eight lead changes. The Mustangs were up 14-13 thanks to a kill from Isaiah Baynes. The Jimmies' Tomasz Swiderski got a kill to tie the set up and start a run that saw the Jimmies never trail for the remainder of the set. The score was tight though as the Jimmies used their only timeout of the match up 19-18. The Jimmies responded to head coach Travers Cox's message with a run to get a 25-21 third set win.

"We looked like we were getting a little nervous because it was getting close toward the end of the game," Travers Cox said. "We just needed to calm down a little bit, sometimes you just need a breather, just change the momentum and they had one of their better tougher servers on the line. I wanted him to think about it more than anything else."

The game served as the final home game for Caylor Cox who is the last remaining player from the team's inaugural team in the 2019-20 season. In his final game at Newman Arena, Cox had 11 kills and a .375 hitting percentage. Cox is the only senior on this year's team which he said gives him a unique perspective.

"This team is a lot younger than we have been in the past," Caylor Cox said. "So, it was kind of a different experience, having to be the older guy and have a lot of young guys looking to me. It was a little different that way where before our youngest age was probably 21, 22 years old and everyone had a little more experience in the world of volleyball."

The Jimmies will now have to wait and see who they face in the NAIA Men's Volleyball Championships at 4 p.m. on Monday, April, 22.

MU 0,UJ 3

MU: 18 17 21 — 0

UJ: 25 25 25 — 3

Kills leaders:

MU: Natan Alves 15, Isaiah Baynes 9, Tharen Cox 5

UJ: Caydann Cox 12, Caylor Cox 11, Tysen Myers 8, Gaven Hackley 8, Tomasz Swiderski 3

Assists leaders:

MU: Jacob DePauw 29, Owen Anderson 1, Alves 1, Kirby Schmalz 1

UJ: Gabriel Ocasio 23, Gaven Hackley 17, Cayl. Cox 1

Aces leaders:

MU: Erik Krenz 2, Baynes 1, DePauw 1

UJ: Ocasio 1