Jun 13, 2022 02:00 AM PST

Southern Exposure Regains Composure with 3-1 Win Over Untouchables


Despite outside hitter Will Ragland leading all hitters with 16 kills, the Untouchables couldn’t handle the well-balanced Southern Exposure offense as they fell to the Orlando team, 1-3.

The Untouchables started set one strong, immediately finding some offensive success from Ragland. They would pull ahead slightly, 6-4, but continue to trade points with Exposure. Blocks by Daniel Paraskevov and Jacob Ostema would push the Untouchable lead to 15-9 until a kill from the big man Evan McDonough stopped the run. Some tough serving would keep Exposure in the match; however, the Untouchable offense would continue its dominance, building a lead as big as six. Then with newcomer Jon Andrews leading the way on the service line, along with a few critical Untouchable hitting errors, Exposure was able to bring the match back within one, 17-18. A challenge at 19-19 would swing the momentum Exposure’s way before the Untouchables would continue their offensive dominance. With some great defensive plays from libero Jordan Robinson, the Untouchables took the set 25-21 on a Paraskevov kill.

Set two saw a tightly contested start, with both teams trading kills to a 5-5 tie. A Kamil Garbowski block and Exposure offensive miscue saw the Untouchables gain a lead of three, 12-9. Two Uchenna Ofoha kills and back-to-back Untouchable hitting errors would have Exposure tie the game at 14-all. With some serve receive struggles, the Untouchables managed to drive ahead before Jan Solivan kept Exposure in the game with a kill. Neace and Ragland would continue to show up for the Untouchables, tying the game at 21. In the end, Exposure would score six of the last ten points, including three kills and a block from Ofoha, to take the set 25-22 and tie the match at a set a piece.

Set three again had both teams trading points. Mike Pelletier started his offensive contribution to Exposure, squeezing in a few critical kills for an early 8-6 lead. Another Ofoha block and an additional kill would push the lead to 11-7 before a Ragland kill would settle the momentum swing. A few long rallies would bring the Untouchables back within one before Exposure would score three straight to push their lead, 16-12. The Untouchables managed to get themselves in an offensive rut, extending the Exposure lead to 21-15 off yet another Ofoha kill. Exposure would finish the match hot, taking the set 25-17 on a Moushikhian kill.

Set four would see a similar exchange of points before Exposure slowly started to pull away. Leading 8-3 off a Moushikhian service run, Neace put it away on the right side to calm Exposure’s momentum. Ragland would continue his offensive success to tie the game at 11, where the teams would continue to trade points. A Derek Sullivan service run would give Exposure a slight lead, 16-14, before a Neace kill would again bring it back within one. A long rally would have Exposure maintain their information off a Pelletier kill before a Tim Lourich kills furthered their lead to three, 21-18. Ragland continued to fight for points, but the Exposure block would continue its superiority. Solivan put the exclamation on the match with a dynamic kill, finalizing the set and the game, 25-22.

Ofoha would be the difference, contributing to Southern Exposure’s steady play on all sides of the ball. His spread of 12 kills, six blocks, and two aces would earn him Man of the Match honors. As a unit, Southern Exposure would hit 0.286 with a whopping 17 blocks to the Untouchables 0.157 and 8 blocks. The match pushed the Untouchables to 1-5 on the year with dwindling playoff hopes, while Southern Exposure climbed to 2-4 after a heart-breaking five-setter against the Dallas Tornadoes.


- NVA Staff Writer

 

Match Statistics

Southern Exposure:

#12 Uchenna Ofoha - 17 Points (12 Kills, 6 Blocks, 2 Aces)

#6 Jan Solivan - 15 Points (13 Kills, 2 Blocks, 1 Ace)

#3 Mike Pelletier - 11 Points (9 kills, 2 Blocks)

#2 Eddie Moushikhian - 11 Points (11 Kills)

Chicago Untouchables:

#13 Will Ragland - 18 Points (16 Kills, 2 Blocks, 1 Ace)

#11 Austin Neace - 9 Points (9 Kills)rly 8-6 lead.