PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Lasell College men's volleyball team opened up the 2019 season Friday night, splitting a pair of matches at the Johnson & Wales University Tip-off Tournament at the Wildcat Center. The Lasers fell to MIT in the opening match, 3-0, before rebounding to defeat Alvernia University in the second match, 3-1.
MIT took down the Lasers by set scores of 25-13, 25-15 and 25-16, before Lasell defeated Alvernia by set scores of 25-23, 25-20, 19-25 and 25-23. MIT also knocked off Alvernia, 3-1, leaving MIT at 3-0 on the season, while Lasell is 1-1 and Alvernia 0-2.
The tournament continues on Saturday as Lasell faces #1 Springfield College at noon. The Pride are defending Division III national champions and currently top-ranked by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA).
Sophomore Aaron Waitekus (Norwood, Mass.) led the Lasers against MIT with nine kills and a .438 attack percentage (9-2-16), while classmate Jordan Aprea (Newington, Conn.) added six winners. Waitekus also had two blocks to lead the Lasers, and senior setter Andy Henriquez (Lawrence, Mass.) posted 19 assists.
Aprea was the big hitter for Lasell against Alvernia, recording 13 kills, while Henriquez finished with nine kills, 29 assists and four blocks. Waitekus added eight kills and three blocks, and juniors Scott Sterenberg (Oceanside, N.Y.) and Janci Soto (Lawrence, Mass.) chipped in with six and five kills, respectively. Senior Nate Gallo (North Providence, R.I.) contributed 15 digs to the victory.
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