Score: Johnson & Wales University, 2; Emmanuel College, 3 (17-25, 29-27, 23-25, 26-24, 15-9)
Records: Johnson & Wales University Wildcats (5-12, 0-3 GNAC); Emmanuel College Saints (4-7, 1-1 GNAC)
Location: Boston, Mass. – Andy Yosinoff Court
Date: Wednesday, February 21, 2018
THE LEAD: Sophomore setter Seamus McDonagh (Long Beach, N.Y.) dished out his 1,000th career assist to help the Emmanuel College men's volleyball rally for a 3-2 victory over Johnson & Wales University in Great Northeast Athletic Conference action Wednesday evening on the Andy Yosinoff Court.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Wildcats came out strong, opening up an early 9-4 lead following a kill from Sanjae Holloway (East Hartford, Conn.).
- Emmanuel fought back to pull within three points, trailing 16-13 midway through the action before Johnson & Wales closed the frame on a 9-2 run fueled by two more Holloway kills en route to the 25-17 win.
- JWU held the Saints to a .000 hitting percentage in the opening stanza.
- Johnson & Wales remained in control through the first half of the second set, racing out to a 14-9 lead following a service ace from senior outside hitter Kanila Chang (Orlando, Fla.).
- With the help of three JWU errors, Emmanuel responded with a 5-0 run to even the frame at 14-14, changing the momentum in the match.
- The squads battled through the end of the frame with neither side leading by more than one point until back-to-back kills by EC junior Erik English (Simi Valley, Calif) sealed the 29-27 win to even the match at 1-1.
- The Saints kept the energy high to open the third, storming out to a 6-0 lead behind McDonagh's service.
- Emmanuel extended the lead to 11-4 and looked to be in control before four straight JWU pointed made it 11-8.
- Up by five at 14-9, the Saints went cold and Johnson & Wales made them pay with an 8-1 run to take a 17-15 lead midway through the frame.
- A service ace from EC sophomore Manuel Velez (San Jose, Costa Rica) evened the match at 19-19 to set up another exciting finish.
- Holloway powered the Wildcats in the final points of the frame, collecting three kills in the final four points to power JWU to a 25-23 win and regain the lead in the match, 2-1.
- Emmanuel rebounded in the fourth with another quick start by taking an early 8-3 lead following a kill from sophomore middle hitter John Carroll (Massapequa, N.Y.).
- Johnson & Wales continued to fight, clawing back to tie the score at 13-13 on a kill by Chang.
- A late push by the Saints gave Emmanuel a 21-18 lead after a kill from McDonash but three straight points on EC errors allowed JWU to tie the score at 21-21.
- EC had the first set point at 24-23 but Holloway forced extra points with a kill but an English kill followed by a McDonagh service ace propelled the Saints into the fifth set with a 26-24 win.
- The squads traded points early to a 3-3 score before Emmanuel opened the first multi-point lead of the set with four straight points to go ahead 6-3 behind three consecutive Velez winners.
- The Wildcats were never able to recover or put together a flurry to get back in the set as the hosts prevailed by a 15-9 final to take the match, 3-2.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- McDonagh becomes the seventh player in Emmanuel College history to record 1,000+ assists and the first since 2015.
- English finished with a match-high 19 kills to go along with nine digs.
- Velez added 11 digs and 10 kills for a double-double.
- Chang finished the match with a team-best 16 kills while Holloway added 14 kills.
- JWU junior setter Cameron Ponce (San Jose, Calif.) finished match with 41 helpers to go along with 17 digs.
- Also in double-figures for the Wildcats were Billy Chen (Cranston, R.I.) and Matt Lavasseur (Salem, N.H.) with 10 and 12 kills, respectively.
- Both liberos collected double-digit dig totals as Emmanuel's Max Gottuso (Long Beach, N.Y.) registered a match-high of 18 while JWU's Alex Seda (San Juan, Puerto Rico) tallied 13 digs.
- Emmanuel is back in action on Saturday, February 24 for a tri-match against No. 17 SUNY New Paltz and Saint Joseph's of Long Island at SJLI in Patchogue, N.Y at 1:00 and 3:00 PM.
- The Wildcats are idle until Saturday, March 10 when they host Pine Manor College and Southern Vermont at 1:00 and 3:00 PM.