NEWTON, Mass. – The Lasell College men's volleyball team split a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) tri-match Saturday afternoon, defeating host Emerson College, 3-0, but falling to league-leading Rivier University, 3-0, at Emerson's Brown & Plofker Gym.
The Lasers got a tough challenge from Emerson in the first match, winning by scores of 25-22, 25-21 and 25-23. Lasell couldn't build on that momentum and was defeated by Rivier, 25-18, 25-18 and 25-20. The Lasers finish the day with a 12-12 overall record and 6-4 mark in the GNAC, while Rivier, which defeated Emerson in the final match, 3-1, is now 16-7 overall and 7-0 in the conference and Emerson is 9-7 and 1-5.
Lasell is back on the court on Thursday, March 28, hosting Wentworth Institute of Technology in a conference match at the Athletic Center (7 p.m.).
Lasell 3, Emerson 0
Junior Scott Sterenberg (Oceanside, N.Y.) led the Lasers with 12 kills and a .400 attack percentage (12-2-25), while sophomore Dillon DeSouza (Enfield, Conn.) added eight kills with a .545 attack percentage (8-2-11). Junior Janci Soto (Lawrence, Mass.) and sophomore Aaron Waitekus (Norwood, Mass.) smashed six kills each. Senior Nate Gallo (North Providence, R.I.) and Andy Henriquez (Lawrence, Mass.) combined for 30 assists, and senior Jordan Aprea (Newington, Conn.) made a team-high seven digs.
The first set was close all the way, as the teams were tied at 15-15 and Lasell led by just one point, 19-18. Kills by Sterenberg and Soto and a service ace by Gallo pushed the lead to four points, and Emerson couldn't recover. The teams traded a few points before a kill by Soto finished off the set.
The Lasers led by 3-5 points most of the second set before Emerson came back to tie the score at 21-all. Lasell answered with four straight points to close out the set, including kills by sophomore Conor Leary-Watson (Bethany, Conn.) and DeSouza and a block by Soto and DeSouza.
Emerson led the first half of the third set until Lasell tied it up at 15-15 and again at 20-20. It was 21-all, 22-all and 23-all before the Lasers closed out the match on a pair of Emerson errors.
Rivier 3, Lasell 0
Leary-Watson was the top hitter for Lasell against the Raiders, posting eight kills. Soto and Waitekus smashed five winners in support, and Henriquez recorded 19 set assists and seven digs. Aprea led the team with nine digs.
Rivier took control in the first set, leading by scores of 12-6 and 17-9. Lasell got as close as six points (21-15) before the Raiders finished a 25-18 set. The Lasers led by three points in the second set (8-5 and 9-6) before the teams were tied at 11-all. Rivier scored eight of the next nine points to open up a 19-12 lead before taking the second set by the same score as the first, 25-18.
Lasell was down by seven points in the third set but did not give up, scoring seven straight points, including a pair of service aces by Gallo, to tie the match at 17-all. It was 18-all when Rivier recorded five of six points to make it 23-19, and the Raiders went on to win, 25-20, to close out the match.
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