No. 12 Men's Volleyball Sweeps GNAC Tri-Match with Rivier, Albertus

No. 12 Men's Volleyball Sweeps GNAC Tri-Match with Rivier, Albertus
NEWTON, Mass. (3/26/17) – The Lasell College men's volleyball team used a 2-0 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) sweep to stay perfect in conference play, downing Rivier University and Albertus Magnus College Sunday afternoon inside the Athletic Center. The Lasers shift to 21-4 overall, while Rivier moves to 17-9 and 8-2 in conference play with the split. The Falcons dip to 2-10 and remain winless in the conference at 0-7.

Game 1: Lasell: 3 Rivier: 1

By set scores of 25-17, 25-19, 22-25, and 28-26, the Lasers escaped the opening match with a 3-1 victory against the Raiders. Rivier, who has been receiving national votes in the AVCA Top 15 poll, put up a fight in the third set, hitting a match-best .344, but Lasell extinguished all hopes of a fifth set with a late comeback in the fourth.

The Lasell senior class paced the home team offensively, as Tristan Davis (Rochester, N.Y.) and Jeffrey Vautrin (Chicopee, Mass.) both registered 15 kills apiece. Davis poured in 20 points in the victory, in part to five of Lasell's seven service aces, a match high. Vautrin hit .393 and gave Lasell 16 points, adding a service ace of his own.

Patrick MacDonald (Floral Park, N.Y.) had 11 kills, four assists, and three blocks – his last one coming in clutch to stuff a Rivier attack, and seal the 3-2 match. Defensively, Jordan Aprea (Newington, Conn.) registered 10 digs, while setter Andy Henriquez (Lawrence, Mass.) earned 48 of Lasell's 57 assists.

Senior Ian Wolski (Westfield, Mass.) led the Raider attack with 13 kills and five digs. Splitting 10 kills apiece was Deshaun Graham (Highland Falls, N.Y.) and Matt Heckler (Simi Valley, Calif.), with Heckler hitting .471, with five digs and a block solo. Three Raiders recorded eight digs in a hard fought defensive effort in Garrett Bucklin (Jamestown, R.I.), Grant Andler (Chicago, Ill.), and Tyler Blank (Rochester, N.Y.), with Blank serving up 44 assists as the dominant setter.


Game 2: Rivier 3 Albertus: 0

In the middle match, the Raiders swept Albertus by set scores of 25-15, 25-11, and 25-9. Nathan Kunkel (Plum Borough, Pa.) swung into seven kills for the third time this season to lead the Raiders to the sweep, while Francis Kokoros (Braintree, Mass.) registered seven of his own, three away from his season-best. Dahnny Rogers (Pennfield, N.Y.) suited up as Rivier's libero in the victory, and hit the floor for six digs.

For the Falcons, Joshua Turner (Trumbull, Conn.) swung into four kills and a season-best four blocks, giving Albertus 7 points in the effort. Felix Rivas (Danbury, Conn.) registered a pair of kills with two opening service aces, and led the team in digs, with six.


Game 3: Lasell: 3 Albertus: 0


Freshman Scott Sterenberg (Oceanside, N.Y.) joined Davis in the offensive attack for Lasell, adding eight kills apiece, with Davis swinging into a monster six service aces. Lasell added 12 aces altogether, as David Anthony (Cranston, R.I.) and Saunoa Afoa (Las Vegas, Nev.) added a pair each as well. Anthony registered five kills, as did Janci Soto (Lawrence, Mass.), while Nathan Gallo (Providence, R.I.) followed with four.

Turner again led the Falcons with four kills and a block assist for 4.5 points.

Lasell and Rivier return to GNAC play on Tuesday, March 28 at 7:00 p.m. The Lasers head across Boston to face the Saints of Emmanuel College, while the Raiders host Wentworth. Albertus is back in action on Thursday evening at Emmanuel for a 7:00 p.m. tilt.