No. 15 Men's Volleyball Knocks off JWU 3-1

No. 15 Men's Volleyball Knocks off JWU 3-1
NEWTON, Mass. (2/8/17) – The No. 15 men's volleyball team opened up Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) play with a 3-1 victory against the Wildcats of Johnson and Wales University on Wednesday evening inside the Athletic Center. The victory puts the Lasers up 1-0 in the GNAC and 10-1 overall, while the Wildcats fault to 4-6 this season and 0-1 in conference.

Three Lasers reached double-digits in kills, led by newcomer Janci Soto (Lawrence, Mass.) with 11 kills and two blocks for 12.5 points. Saunoa Afoa (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Jeffrey Vautrin (Chicopee, Mass.) followed with 10 kills apiece, while Andy Henriquez (Lawrence, Mass.) assisted on 40 of Lasell's points. GNAC Defensive Player of the Week Jordan Aprea (Newington, Conn.) registered 14 digs in the winning effort.

No Wildcat recorded more than single digit kills, with Kanila Chang (Orlando, Fla.) leading the pack on nine kills and two block assists. JWU's primary setter Cameron Ponce (San Jose, Calif.) recorded 24 assists, while Alex Seda (San Juan, Puerto Rico) chipped in with 11 digs defensively.

Lasell opened up the first two sets with 25-13 and 25-18 set victories, before JWU came back for a 25-23 third set win to force the fourth. In the stretch, Lasell held an early 4-1 lead with Vautrin on the serve before the Wildcats scored the next 11 of 19 points to tie the match at 12-all. Both teams handed off the set lead until Kyle Allen-Morabito (Manorville, N.Y.) swung into his one of three kills on the evening to force a Lasers' timeout. Momentum stayed with the Wildcats after the break, however, as a final service error granted JWU the 25-23 set victory.

With senior Patrick MacDonald (Floral, Park, N.Y.) on the serve, the Lasers raced out to a 7-2 run early on in the fourth on a handful of JWU faults and kills from MacDonald and Tristan Davis (Rochester, N.Y.). The Lasers staged two additional unanswered runs to hold a comfortable 20-11 advantage on the visitors, before a trio of blasts by Afoa, Davis, and Henriquez sealed the match victory.

The Lasers are back on the road for their next non-conference trip to Elmira, N.Y., where they will face Nazareth, Sage, Penn. St.-Altoona, and Elmira College for a weekend invitational.