NEWTON, Mass. (4/14/17) -- In search of its second Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) championship in three seasons, the Lasell College men's volleyball team heads to Boston to take on the Leopards of Wentworth Institute of Technology in Saturday's title match.
First serve is set for 3:00 p.m. in Tansey Gymnasium. The game will be streamed live, and can be viewed here.
The Lasers enter the match on a six-game winning streak and with a 29-5 overall record, while the Leopards ― who are in search of their second straight and second-ever GNAC title ― are 26-6 and have won nine straight. Both sides are ranked nationally in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division III Men's Poll as Wentworth is fifth and Lasell 11th, while respectively sitting second and third to Springfield in the East Region.
Both teams finished the regular season with 13-1 conference marks as their only losses came to each other during a two-match series. The Lasers won a 3-2 decision on its home court March 23, before the Leopards avenged Lasell with a four-set win during an April 1 tri-match at Albertus Magnus.
Lasell won its Thursday night semifinal contest against Rivier, 3-1. Senior Tristan Davis (Rochester, N.Y.) posted a match-high 19 kills to lead three Lasers in double-digits, including seven in the concluding set. Davis and fellow senior Jeffrey Vautrin (Chicopee, Mass.) are the GNAC leaders in kills this season, having swung through 317 and 319, respectively, while Davis ranks second to Wentworth senior Jake Reed (Arvada, Colo.) with 3.25 kills per set.
The match features the GNAC's top two passers as Lasell sophomore Andy Henriquez (Lawrence, Mass.) leads the league with 10.22 assists per set and Wentworth junior Colin Ritter (Feeding Hills, Mass.) has posted 9.30. Henriquez handed out 43 assists against Riv.
Reed leads the league with 3.45 kills per set after leading the Leopards with 15 in Thursday's straight-sets victory over Johnson & Wales, while his .325 hitting percentage and 314 total kills rank third.
On the defensive end, Lasell sophomore Jordan Aprea (Newington, Conn.) sets the pace in the GNAC with 320 digs, while his 2.74 per set ranks second. Aprea, who was named GNAC Defensive Player of the Week five times this season, posted a team-high 12 digs in the semifinal, and broke the Lasell College record for digs in a season.
Senior Mike Hansen (Rochester, N.Y.) and junior Ollie Oshman (Pennington, N.J.) are the top blockers in the GNAC, having posted 1.05 and 0.94 blocks per set on the season, while Lasell freshman Janci Soto (Lawrence, Mass.) ranks third with 0.85.
The winner of Saturday's match will advance to the NCAA Division III Tournament. The selection show is set for Monday, April 17 at 10:00 a.m.