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Men's Volleyball Sweeps Hunter to Advance in NCAA Tournament

Men's Volleyball Sweeps Hunter to Advance in NCAA Tournament

BOSTON, Mass. – Junior Alex Potts (Niverville, N.Y.) hit .714 on 10 kills without an attack error (10-0-14) and served three aces to help pace the Wentworth Institute of Technology men's volleyball team to a 3-0 victory over Hunter College in the opening round of the 2016 NCAA Division III Men's Volleyball Tournament.

With the win the 15th-ranked Leopards, who were playing in their first-ever NCAA Tournament match, won their ninth straight match and improve to 23-8. Wentworth advances to the national quarterfinals where they will face top-seeded and top-ranked SUNY New Paltz on Friday, April 22, at 12:30 p.m., at Nazareth College. The Hawks end their season at 24-10.

Hunter scored the first three points of the opening set and upped its lead to 5-1 after an attack error. The Hawks led 7-2 before three straight sophomore Ollie Oshman (Pennington, N.J.) kills made it 7-5. A service error and a block from junior Benjamin Crusinberry (Lincoln, Neb.) made it 9-5 before five straight Wentworth points gave the hosts a 10-9 lead on a Potts kill. Hunter took a 14-12 lead, however a 3-1 spurt tied the set at 15-all on a sophomore on Roat (Macedon, N.Y.) kill. The Hawks regained the lead at 17-16 on an attack error but the lead was short-lived as six straight points gave the Leopards a 22-17 lead. Hunter pulled within three at 24-21 but would get no closer as junior Jake Reed (Arvada, Col.) recorded a kill to end the set.

Potts had five kills on eight swings without making an error in the set while Reed added five kills and Oshman four. Sophomore Benjamin Cassidy (Agawam, Mass) had four kills for Hunter. Wentworth hit .306 in the opening frame.

After a pair of ties early in the second set, Wentworth took a 4-2 lead on back-to-back kills from Reed and sophomore Sean Mullen (Longwood, Fla.). The lead swelled to 14-7 before a service error ended the run. Wentworth's lead increased to 19-11 after a service error but two straight Hunter points made it 19-13. That would be as close as the visitors would get as an Oshman kill ended the set at 25-17.

Roat paced the Black & Gold's offense in the second frame with seven kills and a .750 attack percentage (7-1-8). Reed added four kills as Wentworth hit .462 for the set. Junior Steven Tarquino (Smithtown, N.Y.) had three kills for the Hawks in the set.

The third set started with a 7-2 Wentworth run which forced a Hunter timeout. Out of the timeout, Oshman and junior Mike Hansen (Rochester, N.Y.) combined for a block to make it 8-2 before an attack error stopped the run. However, Wentworth scored five of the next eight points to take a 13-5 lead on a kill from Potts. The Hawks responded by scoring four of the next six points, including two kills from Crusinberry and one from Cassidy and made the score 14-8. An 8-2 run made it 22-10 and a senior Ryan Motyl (Westford, Mass.) ace ended the set at 25-12 and gave the Leopards a 3-0 win. The final set saw the Leopards force the Hawks to hit -.075.

Reed and Roat recorded 11 kills apiece in the win. Oshman had seven kills and a pair of blocks, Mullen had six kills and three blocks, and sophomore Kevin McPeek (Bethlehem, Pa.) had 38 assists and nine digs.

Cassidy and Crusinberry led Hunter with seven kills apiece. Tarquino added six kills in the loss. Junior Nicholas Sanchez (New York, N.Y.) had 18 assists and sophomore Joseph Muir (Encino, Calif.) had 15 digs.

Wentworth and New Paltz will be meeting for just the second time. The Hawks took a 3-0 victory over the Leopards on February 11, 2006, at the Nazareth Invitational.