PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Lasell College men's volleyball team won the first set in a pair of matches Saturday afternoon, but Emmanuel College and Johnson & Wales University both came back to take the next three sets to record 3-1 victories over the Lasers in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) regular season finale at JWU's Wildcat Center.
The Lasers went down to defeat to Emmanuel in the first match, 20-25, 25-23, 25-22 and 25-20, and Lasell dropped the second match to JWU, 23-25, 25-19, 25-15, and 25-12.
Lasell concludes the regular season at 13-16 overall and 7-7 in the GNAC, while Emmanuel finishes 20-12 overall and 9-5 in conference play and JWU winds up 20-10 and 9-5. JWU won the tiebreaker over Emmanuel for the #3 seed in next week's GNAC Tournament, so the #4 seeded Saints will host #5-seeded Lasell in a quarterfinal match on Tuesday, April 9, at 7 p.m.
Emmanuel 3, Lasell 1
Senior David Anthony (Cranston, R.I.) led the Lasers with a career-high 15 kills and a .243 attack percentage (15-6-37), while sophomore Conor Leary-Watson (Bethany, Conn.) added 14 kills with a .250 percentage (14-7-28). Senior Andy Henriquez (Lawrence, Mass.), junior Scott Sterenberg (Oceanside, N.Y.) and sophomore Aaron Waitekus (Norwood, Mass.) added six kills apiece.
Henriquez also registered 43 set assists, and Sterenberg made a team-high three blocks. Senior Jordan Aprea (Newington, Conn.) collected a team-high 18 digs, and classmate Nate Gallo (East Providence, R.I.) also reached double digits with 10 digs.
After winning the first set, Lasell came from behind to tie the second set at 23-all, but Emmanuel got back-to-back kills to close out the set. The third set was close all the way and tied at 22-apiece, but again the Saints scored three straight points to take the set.
Emmanuel led by as many as nine points in the fourth set, 16-7, but Lasell battled back to close the deficit to two at 21-19. But the Saints would not be denied, and closed out the match with four of the final five points. Emmanuel earned the season sweep over Lasell, having defeated the Lasers 3-1 on March 16 at Regis College.
Johnson & Wales 3, Lasell 1
Waitekus led the Lasers with 12 kills and a .348 attack percentage (12-4-23), and Anthony and Henriquez added seven kills apiece. Anthony had a .412 attack percentage (7-0-17), and Henriquez finished with 34 set assists.
Sterenberg posted three blocks for the Laser defense, while Aprea and Henriquez shared team-high honors with nine digs apiece.
The Lasers won the first set, getting late kills by Sterenberg and Anthony. JWU came back and had the advantage much of the second set, leading by as many as eight points (20-12), but Lasell battled back to within three points at 22-19. The Wildcats snuffed out a Laser comeback, winning the set with three straight points.
JWU took an early eight-point margin in the third set, 12-4, and Lasell got no closer than six points the rest of the set. The Wildcats went up 5-0 in the fourth set and never looked back, putting up a decisive victory in the set to close out the match. JWU earned a split of the season series, as Lasell came back from two sets down to defeat the Wildcats at Lasell back on March 19.
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