BOSTON, Mass. – The Emmanuel Saints cruised to their third-straight sweep, downing Lasell College 3-0 in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) men's volleyball action played in Emmanuel's Jean Yawkey Center on Saturday night. As a team, the Saints hit .471 with 41 kills in 70 attempts. The win (25-18, 25-21, 25-12) boosts the Saints to 10-9 overall and 8-2 in the league, while Lasell falls to 9-12 on the season and 3-7 in GNAC play.
Emmanuel stormed out of the gates early in the match and held a commanding, 20-11 lead in set one. After a timeout, Lasell went on a 5-0 run and the Lasers found themselves right back in it at 20-16. Strong hitting by freshman outside Ashanti Jackson (Sacramento, Calif.) and senior middle Tom McCaffrey (Massapequa, N.Y.) gave the Saints the boost they needed and Emmanuel took a 25-18 set one win.
The Lasers led early in set two, holding a 5-3 edge and a 9-6 advantage in the early going. An ensuing 4-0 run by the Saints gave Emmanuel its first lead of the set at 10-9. The Lasers jumped back on top, before a kill by Jackson knotted the set at 12-all. Serving and blocking errors by the Saints helped the Lasers stay close throughout. A smash by freshman outside Zach Whitermore (Whitehall, PA) set the score at 22-19, Saints. After a Laser timeout, senior captain Mike Mottola (Quincy, MA) subbed in to serve off the final points for the Saints and Emmanuel took set two, 25-21.
The Saints held a 7-3 lead in game three after a kill by freshman Austin Cockerill opposite (Darien, CT). A serving spree by senior Alexander Petty (Wayland, MA) stretched the Emmanuel lead to eleven points at 16-5. The Saints cruised through set three and a solo block by Petty set up match-point before Emmanuel took game three, 25-12.
Emmanuel was led by a solid offensive attack, paced by 10 kills apiece from Jackson and McCaffrey. Jackson hit .444 with 10 kills in 18 attempts. McCaffrey, the program's all-time leader in blocks, posted another superior hitting performance, tying the Emmanuel single-match record for hitting percentage, as he hit .909 with 10 kills in 11 swings with zero errors. Whitermore added 7 kills and Cockerill chipped in with 6 for the Saints. Junior setter Nick Updike (Manhattan Beach, CA) dished out a match-high 26 assists. Petty and McCaffrey led the defense with 5 digs and 2 blocks, respectively.
Lasell was led by rookie middle Abdulrehman Khan (Karachi, Pakistan), who slammed down 7 kills. Freshman setter Matt Dugan (New Lenox, IL) tallied 14 assists, while junior libero Chris Burns (Chalmsford, MA) collected a match-high 7 digs for the Lasers.