CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Emmanuel College men's volleyball team dropped a pair of non-conference matches Saturday afternoon to open the 2017 campaign. The Saints fell to MIT, 3-0 (13-25, 19-25, 20-25) in their season-opener before dropping a 3-0 decision to Sage College, 3-1 (25-16, 17-25, 19-25, 20-25).
MIT match – 3-0 (13-25, 19-25, 20-25)
The Saints got off to a slow start, hitting just .043 as a team in the opening set to fall behind in the match, 1-0 after a 25-13 thumping by the Engineers. It didn't improve much in the second frame as Emmanuel swung away at a .094 clip and fell 25-19 to go down 2-0 in the action. MIT completed the sweep with a 25-20 win in the final frame despite EC posting a .476 hitting percentage in the set with 11 kills and just one error.
Sophomore middle hitter Alex Silva (Jamaica Plain, Mass.) enjoyed a strong collegiate debut with seven kills and a .462 hitting percentage. Sophomore outside hitter Erik English (Simi Valley, Calif.) added six kills while freshman setter Seamus McDonagh (Long Beach, N.Y.) dished out 20 helpers in his first collegiate match.
Skyler Kaufman paced the Engineers with a team-high seven kills to go along with four block assists.
Sage match – 3-1 (25-16, 17-25, 19-25, 20-25)
In their second match of the afternoon, Emmanuel opened strong with a 25-13 first set win over Sage, hitting .360 as a team while holding the Gators to a .125 clip. Sage bounced back with a 25-17 win to even the match at 1-1, hitting .471 as a team compared to the Saints dismal .038 percentage. It didn't get any prettier in the third set as the Gators forced EC to a negative -.038 clip en route to a 25-19 win and they wrapped up the match with a 25-20 win in the fourth set to open their 2017 season with a W and send the Saints back home over the river with a 0-2 record.
English paced Emmanuel with nine kills while Silva and freshman Justyn Schueler (Trumbull, Conn.) added six kills each. McDonagh dished out 28 assists while adding three block assists and two aces.
The Saints return to action on Tuesday, January 31 when they travel to Elms College for a 7:00 PM non-conference tilt.