In the semifinals of the NCAA Championship, the Carthage College men’s volleyball team swept No. 7 Wentworth in straight sets on Friday night at Tarble Arena.
To start, Wentworth (30-5) held a 5-1 margin before a kill from Matt Slivinski cut the lead to three. With set one tied at seven, Carthage (23-3) used a 7-4 run to go ahead 14-11. Out of the media timeout, Carter Schmidt connected on a kill extending the Firebird advantage to three however, the Leopards got it to one with a kill and an ace tied it at 19. An attack error for Wentworth put Carthage ahead 23-20 as a kill from Slivinski put the Firebirds at set point. After the Leopards scored two unanswered, a kill from David Markes won the set 25-22.
Zach Bulthuis got the Firebirds going in the second with two straight kills. Another 8-4 run for Carthage widened the gap to 10-4 but Wentworth rallied getting within three with a kill. Schmidt dailed in another kill putting the Firebirds back in front 16-11. The Leopards again shrank the deficit to three until a serve out of bounds and a kill from Bulthuis made it 20-15 in favor of Carthage. A Leopards service error gave the Firebirds a two-set lead 25-19.
With momentum on their side, Carthage began with a 9-1 score. Later, a kill from Schmidt pushed the lead to 10. Later, a service error for Wentworth made it an 18-9 score. A kill from Bulthuis and an attack error for the Leopards extended the advantage to 21-10 as Carthage closed with a 4-1 run to win 25-11.
The Firebirds now play No. 1 Springfield in the NCAA Championship Finals starting at 5 p.m. Saturday.