'Ship Bound; Men's Volleyball Rallies Past Emmanuel, 3-2

'Ship Bound; Men's Volleyball Rallies Past Emmanuel, 3-2

BOSTON, Mass. – After trailing two sets to none, the Wentworth Institute of Technology men's volleyball team rallied for a 3-2 victory over Emmanuel to earn its first trip to the Great Northeast Athletic Conference championship game in program history.

With the win the Leopards – winners of seven straight – improve to 21-8 and will play third-seeded Rivier, a 3-1 winner over second-seeded Lasell, in Saturday's championship match while Emmanuel ends its season with a 19-12 record.

Trailing 2-1 early in the opening set, the Leopards rolled off five straight points to take a6-2 lead on a sophomore Sean Mullen (Longwood, Fla.) kill. The Leopards led 8-4 before Emmanuel closed the gap to 9-7 on a kill from senior Erik English (Simi Valley, Calif.). Wentworth held a 12-8 lead, however the Saints scored the next five points and tied the set on a senior Barrett Wingard (York, Pa.) kill. The frame would be tied two more times, however Emmanuel forced the hosts into a time out after an attack error made it 18-15. Out of the timeout, Emmanuel scored three of the next four points to take a 21-17 lead. The Saints scored three of the next four points to make it 24-18 but a Wingard kill ended the set at 25-19.

Emmanuel, which hit .400 in the set was paced by Wingard's seven kills and English's four. Junior Alex Potts (Niverville, N.Y.) and sophomore Jon Roat (Macedon, N.Y.) had four kills each for the Black & Gold.

The Saints started the second set on a 10-2 run with Wingard serving five straight points for Emmanuel. A Roat kill ended the run, and Roat would serve three straight points, including two straight aces, to force the Saints into a timeout. Senior Garrett McGarry (Chicago, Ill.) ended the spurt with a kill. Emmanuel increased its lead to 18-11 after back-to-back attack errors and forced Wentworth into a timeout. A junior Jake Reed (Arvada, Colo.) kill made it 19-12 and the lead increased to 21-12. Wentworth quickly scored four straight points to make it 21-16 and force Emmanuel into a timeout. Out of the timeout a service error made it 22-16 and the Saints took a 25-17 win in the second set to take a 2-0 lead.

Wingard paced the Saint offense in the set with six kills on nine swings with just one error and McGarry added four kills for Emmanuel, which hit .435. Roat had three kills for the Leopards, who were forced to hit -.042 in the frame.

The two teams battled back and forth in the opening of the fourth set with Wentworth taking an 8-5 lead after an attack error. Emmanuel scored the next two points, however a service error gave the hosts a 9-7 lead. Wentworth's lead swelled to 11-7 after a Roat kill and forced the visitors to call a timeout. Out of the timeout, the Leopards rolled off four straight points to take a 14-7 lead after a ball handling error. Emmanuel got a point back on a kill from English, however Wentworth would increase its lead to 17-8. The Saints scored two straight points to make it 18-10. Back-to-back Wingard kills made it 18-12 and forced Wentworth into a timeout. A Mullen ace and kill made it 20-12. The Saints pulled within six at 23-17 and scored three of the next four to force a Leopard timeout at 24-20. Out of the timeout, a Mullen kill got Wentworth on the board at 25-20.

Mullen was a perfect 1.000 (6-0-6) in the set while Reed had four kills and junior Mike Hansen (Rochester, N.Y.) had four blocks for Wentworth. Wingard added five more kills in the set.

Emmanuel scored the first three points of the fourth set before a service error put Wentworth on the board. After a service error gave the Saints a 4-1 lead, a Hansen kill and solo block brought the hosts within one. The Saints increased their lead to 8-5 after a senior Julian Hess (Santa Monica, Calif.) kill and a ball handing error before Wentworth cut it to one at 8-7 and again at 9-8 before a Roat block evened the set at 9-all. Wentworth claimed a 13-11 lead after back-to-back ball handling errors and forced the Saints into a timeout. Roat extended the run to 6-0 with a kill and an ace which made it 15-11 and Hansen followed with a solo block then teamed up with sophomore Ollie Oshman (Pennington, N.J.) for another block. A Wingard kill ended the run and made it 17-12. Junior Jorge Rojas (San Juan, Puerto Rico) served an ace and an attack error made it 17-14 which led the Leopards to call timeout. Wentworth used a 4-1 spurt, capped off by a senior Ryan Motyl (Westford, Mass.) ace, to force Emmanuel into a timeout at 21-15. The saints came out of the timeout on a 3-1 run to make it 21-18, however Wentworth would force a fifth set as Roat gave the Leopards a 25-20 win in the fourth set with a kill.

Roat had five kills in the set for Wentworth while Hansen had five blocks. Wingard had five kills in the set for the Saints.

Wentworth opened the fifth set with four straight points as Mullen and Hansen combined on a block, Roat had a kill and a block, and Potts served an ace. Out of an Emmanuel time out, Hansen added a block before Wingard ended the run with a kill. An attack error gave Wentworth a 6-1 lead before Emmanuel scored two of the next three points to make it 7-3. A service error gave the hosts an 8-3 lead at the changeover.

The Leopards scored the first two points out of the change before a Wingard kill made it 10-4. After a Hess kill cut the lead in half, Wentworth called a timeout. Reed followed with a kill and Roat and Potts combined for a block to make it 12-5. An attack error pushed the lead to 13-5 and caused the Saints to use a timeout. Out of the timeout Wingard recorded a kill which was followed by a Potts kill. Reed ended the match with an ace.

Wentworth hit .333 in the fifth set while forcing Emmanuel to -.100.

Roat finished with 16 kills, three aces, and seven blocks. Mullen had 12 kills, two aces, and two blocks, and Reed added 10 kills and three aces. Hansen had 11 blocks, sophomore Kevin McPeek (Bethlehem, Pa.) had 35 helpers and seven digs. As a team Wentworth had 17 blocks.

Wingard had 26 kills while English and Hess had eight and seven, respectively. Hess also had a pair of blocks. Rojas had 39 assists on the night.