Emmanuel rallies past Lasell in GNAC Men’s Volleyball playoffs

Emmanuel rallies past Lasell in GNAC Men’s Volleyball playoffs

BOSTON, Mass. – The fifth-seeded Lasell College men's volleyball team couldn't hold on to a two-set lead Tuesday evening and fell to fourth-seeded Emmanuel College, 3-2, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) quarterfinal match at Andy Yosinoff Court.

Emmanuel, 15-15 overall, advances to a GNAC semifinal match Thursday, April 12, at top-seeded Rivier University (24-6) at 7:00 p.m.. Lasell winds up its season at 9-21 overall.

Lasell won the first two sets, 25-19 and 25-17, but Emmanuel rallied for the win with set victories of 25-21, 25-18 and 15-10. Junior Kevin Orsley (San Jose, Calif.) led the Saints with a match high 21 kills.

Sophomore Scott Sterenberg (Oceanside, N.Y.) led the Lasers with 11 kills, while junior Andy Henriquez (Lawrence, Mass.) and sophomore Janci Soto (Lawrence, Mass.) added 10 winners apiece. Henriquez was also good for 41 set assists and Soto added a season-high eight blocks. Juniors Nathan Gallo (North Providence, R.I.) and Jordan Aprea (Newington, Conn.) recorded 17 and 15 digs, respectively.

The Lasers scored first on the evening and continued to hold control of the first set, taking an 8-3 lead, led by Henriquez's three kills. Emmanuel began to close the lead, 12-8, with two kills by Orsley and two service errors by the Lasers before Lasell went on an 8-3 run to extend the lead back to 20-11. The Saints were not able to overcome the mid-set deficit as Greg Monteiro (New Bedford, Mass.) and Sterenberg closed out the set with two late set kills, 25-19.

Both teams traded early points due to offensive errors, but the Lasers continued their offensive attack taking a 10-3 lead off of two assisted blocks by Henriquez and Soto. The Saints had to work from behind again and pulled within six by two kills by Orsley and one kill by John Carroll (Massapequa, N.Y.). Emmanuel continued to battle throughout the end of the set, but kills by Monteiro and Soto were too much for the Saints, and Lasell took the second set, 25-17.

Lasell jumped out in front of the Saints with a quick 6-1 lead in the third set on four kills and two attacking errors by the Saints, but Emmanuel swung back to close the gap 9-7 on back to back kills by Erik English (Semi Valley, Calif.) and Mike Kokoros (Braintree, Mass). The teams traded points back and forth throughout the middle of the set until the Saints were finally able to take the lead, 18-17, off of a kill by English from Seamus McDonagh (Long Beach, N.Y.). The Saints held on to the lead through the end of the set, closing out the Lasers on back to back kills by Orsley and a solo block by Alex Silva (Jamaica Plain, Mass.), 25-21.

Lasell came out of the break with a strong offensive attack to go up on the Saints 4-2 before Emmanuel scored seven quick points, taking the lead 9-5, led by the blocking efforts of Carroll and McDonagh. Emmanuel was able to extend the lead to five points on kills by Orsley and Silva before forcing a Lasell timeout late in the set, controlling the set 16-11. The Saints were able to close out the set, 25-18, to tie the match at two apiece on late set kills by English and Kokoros.

The Lasers forced the Saints to take an early timeout in the final set after taking a quick 3-1 lead, led by back to back assisted blocks by Soto and Monteiro. The Saints came back to tie the game at three before going on a 6-3 run, highlighted by a service ace by Orsley and two kills by Kokoros, to take the lead back 9-6. Emmanuel never looked back and was able to close out the match, 15-10, on two solo blocks by Silva and McDonagh, and a final point kill by Orsley.

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