The number 17 ranked Rivier University men's volleyball team defeated Emmanuel College 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-23) in GNAC action on Thursday evening at Andy Yosinoff Court. The Raiders improve to 16-8 while the loss drops the Saints to 6-14.
The first set was a convincing victory for the Raiders, but the Saints kept the score tight throughout the final two sets. The two sides traded points to start the match with Emmanuel's Alex Silva (Jamaica Plain, Mass.) earning the first point of the night followed by a kill from Rivier's Deshaun Graham (Highland Falls, N.Y.). Rivier opened a 9-3 run amidst the third set to take a 16-7 lead and they would not look back. The Raiders closed out the set 25-17 on a kill from Tyler Blanks (Rochester, N.Y.).
The Raiders used their momentum from the first set to jet out to an 8-2 run that included two kills and a service ace from Grant Andler (Chicago, Ill.). The Saints would go on a 6-1 run of their own narrowing the gap to 11-10. The familiar foes continued to go back and forth until Nathan Kunkel (Plum Borough, Pa.) started a 6-1 rally to close out the stanza.
Emmanuel drew first blood in set three with Erik English (Simi Valley Calif.) first kill of four in the final frame, the Saints maintained the lead throughout most of set three. The Raiders caught the Saints and the two sides deadlocked at 15's then 16's, 17's, 18's and 19's. A service ace from Francis Kokoros (Braintree, Mass.) broke up the back and forth action making the score 21-19. Emmanuel was able to keep the Raiders within striking distance with the score reading 24-23, but were ultimately outlasted.
Justyn Schueler (Trumbull, Conn.) led the Saints attack with eight kills followed by English with seven. Seamus McDonagh (Long Beach N.Y.) provided 19 assists along with three assisted blocks and two digs. Silva recorded four kills and four blocks on the night.
Wolski was the game's leading point scorer with 16 with 12 kills on .524 hitting percentage. While Garrett Bucklin (Jamestown, R.I.) led the game with 10 digs on the defensive side.
Emmanuel College will travel across town on Saturday to take on GNAC rival Emerson College. Rivier University will take on Lasell College on Sunday at 11am.