NEWTON, Mass. – The Lasell University men's volleyball team defeated the Elms College Blazers Wednesday night in the Athletic Center in their home-opener.
The Lasers win their fourth straight match and improve to 7-6 overall while the Blazers who have received votes to crack the top 15 in the weekly AVCA coaches poll every week since the preseason drop to 6-5 after the four-set loss.
Freshman Brenden Joyce (Randolph, Mass.) led the way for the Lasers in the upset. Joyce went off for 21 kills while hitting a .286 attack efficiency to go along with 7 digs. Senior Scott Sterenberg (Oceanside, N.Y.) finished with 14 kills while hitting .343%. Sterenberg also totaled a match-high three aces from behind the service line. Junior Cobi Moore (Danville, N.H.) averaged 4.50 digs per set and tallied a match-high 18 digs in the win.
Junior Jeremy Torres (Juncos, P.R.) was dominant for the Blazers despite the loss. He finished with a match-high 28 kills while hitting .317%.
The first set didn't go the Lasers way after starting off slow. The home team found themselves in a hole down, 10-6 after a few unforced errors. A late push from Elms opened up their lead to 24-17 before a service error from the Lasers ended the first set 25-19.
Junior Aaron Waitekus (Norwood, Mass.) gave the Lasers an 8-2 lead early on in the second set after a strong service run. The Lasers maintained the lead throughout the set and found themselves up 18-12 after a kill from freshman Jesus Garcia (Honolulu, Hawaii). Lasell closed out the set 25-19 to tie the match at 1-1.
In the third set the Lasers struggled early to find themselves in a deficit as large as 18-11. The Lasers clawed back into the set with another service run with Waitekus behind the line. An error by the Blazers tied the set for the first time at 22-22. In extra points, back-to-back kills from freshman Jan Baranowski (Wheeling, Ill.) and Sterenberg gave the Lasers the win 30-28.
In the fourth and final set, both teams struggled to separate in score. Late in the set at 20-19, Joyce found the floor for a kill to take a two-point lead. The Lasers would go on to close out the set 25-21 and take the match 3-1.
The Lasers will return home on Sunday, February 16 for a conference tri-match against Rivier University and Regis College. The Blazers play next in a tri-match on Saturday, February 15 against Vassar College and Stevens Institute of Technology.