PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Emmanuel College men's volleyball team dropped a pair of Great Northeast Athletic Conference contests to close out the regular seaon Saturday afternoon in GNAC action at the Wildcat Center. The Saints fell to #11 Lasell College, 3-0 before dropping a 3-0 decision to host Johnson & Wales University.
Emmanuel: 8-20, 4-10
Lasell: 28-5, 13-1
Johnson & Wales: 19-14, 8-6 GNAC
Kanila Chang (JWU): 14 kills, 6 digs vs. LC / 10 kills vs. EC
Kyle MacKnight (JWU): 11 kills, 7 digs vs. EC
Tristian Davis (LC): 19 kills, 5 digs vs. JWU
Erik English (EC): 12 kills, 8 digs vs. JWU
A kill by Kanila Chang (Orlando, Fla.) got the Wildcats within 12-10 in the first set against Lasell, but Tristan Davis reeled off six points with his serve to open an 18-10 margin. Donovan Kelley (Encinitas, Calif.) followed up a kill with an ace to make it 14-11 in the second frame. Unfortunately, that's as close as JWU would get the rest of the set.
The Wildcats built a 16-9 lead in the third set only to see Lasell chip away until the match was tied at 23-23. After a Lasers' error, Kelley came through with a kill to win the set. Lasell built a 24-16 lead in the fourth set and the Wildcats were able to close the gap to 24-20 before Davis ended the match with his game-high 19th kill.
JWU setter Jason Rhee (Aurora, Colo.) did a good job of diversifying the offense as four different players had seven or more kills, led by 14 from Chang. Rhee produced 31 assists to go along with six digs. Both teams had nine blocks, but the Lasers had a 46-35 advantage in digs that helped them outhit JWU .250-to-.157.
The Saints put up a fight in the middle match between Emmanuel and Lasell, but the Lasers' firepower was too much. Lasell ended the regular season on a five-game winning streak as it down Emmanuel 3-0 (25-10, 25-18, 25-12).
Lasell jumped out to a 9-1 lead on its way taking the first set. Emmanuel sliced into the lead in the second set, getting the margin to 10-6, but that's as close as the Saints would get. The serve of David Anthony staked the Lasers to a 9-0 lead as they rolled to the third set and the match.
Topping all players with nine kills was Lasell's Davis as he hit .750 for the match. Jeffrey Vautrin was next with seven kills and five digs. Setter Andy Henriquez dished out 30 assists. Leading the Emmanuel offense was Max Gottuso at eight kills.
The Lasers hit .530 as a team while holding the Saints to a .068 rate. Lasell also had the advantage in aces (7-2), digs (26-22) and blocks (5-1).
The opening set between the Wildcats and Saints was tied at 10-10 until JWU went on an 8-3 march that was capped by a Kyle MacKnight (East Northport, NY) kill. Emmanuel was within 15-13 in the second set, but a 5-1 JWU run secured the set victory. Johnson & Wales jumped out to an 11-5 lead in the final set and the margin grew to 20-10 on a Matt McCarthy (Millis, Mass.) kill.
The JWU offense was dominated by MacKnight and Chang as they produced 11 and 10 kills, respectively. Emmanuel's Erik English topped all players with 12 kills. Rhee handed out a season-high 32 assists and directed the Wildcats to a .380 hitting percentage. The Wildcats out-dug the Saints, 39-28, to hold Emmanuel to a .095 hitting rate.
All three teams now gear up for next week's conference tournament. Johnson & Wales hosts Emerson on Tuesday in the first round while Emmanuel travels to Rivier. Lasell has a first round bye as the number two seed.
*Release courtesy of JWU Sports Information Dept.