Lasers Rally Falls Short; Emmanuel Picks Up 3-1 Victory
NEWTON, MA- For the second time this season, the Emmanuel College Saints defeated the Lasell College Lasers in Great Northeast Athletic Conference men's volleyball action. The Saints took a quick two set lead (30-26, 30-26) before the Lasers came back to triumph in the third set, 30-27. A final 30-27 victory by the Saints sealed the 3-1 GNAC match.
Lasell let up the first points of the match on a service error, followed by a second point on a right side attack error. After a side-out on a quick middle hit by Dan Rogers (Belchertown, MA) and an ace by Mike Harrington (Billerica, MA) the Lasers took their first lead of the game, 4-2.
The teams knotted the score at 6-all, but Rogers attacked an overpass to give Lasell the edge once again. The Lasers further took over the lead, 9-7, before a monster back-row kill by Keoni Rabaino (Tuscan, AZ) gave Emmanuel possession of the ball back. The Saints went ahead, 11-10, after a Laser hitting error, but Lasell tied the score up with a kill off a back row attack by Spencer Parker (Newington, CT). The teams traded side-outs through the 13th point, at which point the Saints went on a 4-0 run to take a 17-13 advantage, which included two kills by Rabaino. Lasell got a side out on a Rogers kill and closed within two points after a Saints net violation.
Lasell's Micah Aiu (Honolulu, HI) put down a kill in the middle to close the gap to one point, 21-20, then served an ace to equalize the score once again. The visitors went ahead on a 6-2 run to, but a huge solo block by Rogers ignited Lasell into a comeback run, pulling back to a one point deficit, 26-25. The Saints, however, turned the tables and an assisted block by Rabiano and Matt Salvi (Trumbull, CT) closed the first set in favor of the visiting Saints, 30-26.
Lasell was playing catch-up from the beginning of the set two, falling behind 10-6 early on. A massive outside block by Brendan McGourn (Southington, CT) and Harrington brought Lasell back into a two point deficit, 11-9, followed by back-to-back solo blocks by McGourn and Rogers tied the score at 12-all. The Lasers took their first lead of the set (15-13) with consecutive identical kills by Rogers off serve receive overpasses by the Saints. After another Parker block on a Saints right side attack, Lasell had a 16-13 lead. A kill by Cam Todd (Los Angeles, CA) broke up the Lasers run, but Parker returned the favor with a huge line shot from the outside.
Lasell held a narrow 20-18 lead after a kill by Andy Cass (Wakefield, RI) on the outside, but a kill by Emmanuel's Michael Townsend (Beaverdam, VA) earned the Saints side out. A slide by Harrington gave lasell the ball back, and a out-of-rotation call on the Saints earned Lasell a 23-20 edge. The teams each traded four service errors back and forth before a big block by Cass and Rogers gave Lasell the go-ahead point. Tyson Rietz (Granite Bay, CA) and Curtis Abram (San Luis Obispo, CA) returned the favor on the following play, blocking Rogers on an overpass attack.
The Lasers called a timeout after the Saints crept back into one point of their lead, 25-24. After the break, Rogers tallied another point off a middle attack, but the Saints came back to tie things up, then go ahead 27-26, after two uninterrupted kills by Salvi. Lasell's second timeout was called, but the Saints served their way to game-point 29-26 on an ace by Rietz. Emmanuel took the second set, 30-26 on a Laser attack error.
Lasell opened the third game with a kill by Parker on the outside, but Emmanuel's Townshend made a kill and an ace to give Emmanuel the 3-1 lead. The Lasers came back to tie things up at 6-all after Saint attack error, unfortunately the Lasers' comeback was short lived after another service error.
The score seesawed back-and-forth on sideouts through the 14th point for each team, at which point a Harringon and Cass double-block started Lasell on a 3-0 run to take a 17-15 advantage. Further serving errors gave Emmanuel the opportunity to comeback, but a Harrington tip from the backside awarded Lasell the serve, and a 18-15 edge. Aiu served an ace to the deep corner line and Lasell boosted to a 20-16 advantage.
With a 22-17 Lasell edge, Emmanuel called their first timeout to try and break up the Lasers momentum, however, Lasell had other plans. A long volley ended in the Lasers advantage after another Rogers kill on an over pass, 23-18.
The Saints rallied to come back to a 24-23 deficit after an ace by Rietz and a block error on Lasell, but Parker did not allow the Saints to knot the score again though as he downed the ball into the middle of Emmanuel's court. Lasell pulled ahead with a 27-23 lead, before the Saints, once again, came back again to tie the score at 27-all. Emmanuel served into the net at 27-all and a solo block by Harrington brought Lasell to their first game-point. A Saint error sealed the third set, 30-27 for Lasell.
With a 2-1 set advantage going into the fourth set, Emmanuel came out on a 9-3 run, complete with two service aces by Rietz. The Saints went ahead by double the Lasers total points, at 14-7, before Lasell called a timeout to regroup. The break did not stop the Saints pace as they ran away with a 22-12 edge.
Lasell was not about to end the game quietly. The Lasers mounted a 9-0 rally to bring the game back to 23-19, capped by a kill in the middle by Rogers. After a side out on a serving error, Parker slammed a hit into the Saints court to bring the score to 25-22. Three service errors by Lasell in the final points gave Emmanuel a three point lead, 27-24. A kill by Townshend allowed Emmanuel to pull within two points of the match-point, but Parker dropped another cross court attack in, giving Lasell a final chance at the lead. After a kill by Townshend brought Emmanuel to game point, the Saints secured the match, 3-1, with a kill by Rietz down the middle.
The visitor's offense was led by Rietz with 17 kills on 40 attempts, a 30% attack percentage. Rietz also served in a game-high five aces, and picked up seven digs for the Saints. Taylor Lowe (Malibu, CA) recorded 30 assists in the match, as well as eight digs and Jake DeLuise (Wakefield, RI) dug up 17 balls, also a game-high.
Emmanuel's Abrams had a double-double performance with 13 kills and 10 digs and Townsend was close behind with 11 kills and eight defensive pick-ups.
For Lasell, Rogers was the top attacker, putting down 15 kills, while hitting a .385 clip. Parker had a fine performance with 13 kills and nine digs, and Aiu notched 10 kills, 12 digs, and two aces.
McGourn dished out 46 assists in the set and added three blocks and Max Vaughan (Wetherfield, CT) picked up 15 digs as the Lasers' libero.
Lasell is now 9-5 this season, and 4-2 in the GNAC, while the Saints finished the night at 11-4 overall and 6-1 in conference play.
Lasell will next face Emerson College, Friday night at 7:00 p.m. in the Lasell College Athletic Center.