BOSTON, Mass. – The Johnson & Wales University men's volleyball team outlasted host Emmanuel College, 3-2 (24-25, 25-23, 18-25, 25-14, 15-8) Wednesday evening on the Andy Yosinoff Court. The win lifts the Wildcats to 14-11 overall and 3-3 in Great Northeast Athletic Conference action while the loss drops the Saints to 5-11 overall and 1-2 in GNAC play.
The contest was back and forth for the opening two sets with the Saints taking the opening set 26-24 before the Wildcats returned the favor with a two-point win in the second set at 25-23 to even the match at 1-1.
Emmanuel took control of the action in the third set midway through to cruise to a 25-18 win. With the score deadlocked at 9-9, EC put together an 8-1 run capped by a kill from sophomore outside hitter Kevin Orsley (San Jose, Calif.) to make it 17-10. JWU was unable to make up the deficit as the Saints took a firm 2-1 lead in on the match.
Johnson & Wales bounced back in the fourth and dominated the hosts hitting .393 in the set en route to a convincing 25-14 win to force a decisive fifth frame. JWU freshman opposite Matthew McCarthy (Millis, Mass.) posted four kills in the set on eight attacks for a cool .500 hitting percentage.
In the final set, a kill by EC sophomore middle hitter Alex Silva (Jamaica Plain, Mass.) gave the Saints a 7-6 lead but the Wildcats closed the door with a 9-1 flurry capped by a kill from senior outside hitter Kyle MacKnight (East Northport, N.Y.) to seal the 15-8 win for the 3-2 match.
Orsley finished with 12 kills while Silva added 11 kills for the Saints. Sophomore outside hitter Erik English (Simi Valley, Calif.) added nine kills and 17 digs. Freshman setter Seamus McDonagh (Long Beach, N.Y.) dished out 36 assists while sophomore libero Elijah Parks (Long Beach, N.Y.) added 12 digs.
For the Wildcats, junior outside hitter Kanila Chang (Orlando, Fla.) led the way with a match-high 15 kills while sophomore middle Donovan Kelley (Encinitas, Calif.) chipped in with 12 kills. Sophomore setter Cameron Ponce (San Jose, Calif.) ran a balanced offensive handing out 42 helpers and sophomore libero Alex Seda (San Juan, P.R.) paced the defensive effort with a match-high 18 digs.
The Saints return to action on Saturday, March 18 when they head to Nashua, N.H. for a GNAC tri-match against Rivier University and Mount Ida College scheduled to begin at 1:00 PM. JWU is idle until March 21 when they host Rivier University at 7:00 PM in Providence, R.I.