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Men's Volleyball Takes GNAC Tri-Match

Men's Volleyball Takes GNAC Tri-Match

NEWTON, Mass. – The sixth-ranked Wentworth Institute of Technology men's volleyball team got back on the winning track on Saturday as the Leopards swept a Great Northeast Athletic Conference tri-match at Mount Ida. Wentworth defeated the host Mustangs, 3-0, in the first match of the day and rallied past Johnson & Wales, 3-2, in the second match of the day.

Wentworth 3, Mount Ida 0
The Leopards opened the first set by scoring seven of the first nine points and never looked back, cruising to a 25-8 win. After the Mustangs had sliced the lead to six points (12-6), Wentworth rolled off four straight points, capped off by an attack error. Mount Ida ended the run when Wentworth committed an attack error of its own, however the Black & Gold closed out the set on a 9-1 run. Wentworth hit a blistering .619 (15-2-21) in the set and forced Mount Ida to hit -.238.

Wentworth took a 5-2 lead in the second set before Mount Ida scored three of the next four points to make it 6-5. Four straight Wentworth points increased the lead to 10-5 and the lead would swell to 15-6 after sophomore Brian Drouse (Dallas, Pa.) and freshman Ryan Love (Gaithersburg, Md.) combined for a block. Wentworth maintained a nine-point lead and took a 25-13 decision after a freshman Josh Jackson (Massillion, Ohio) ace. Jackson was on the line for the Leopards' final two points in the set.

The third set featured six ties with the last one coming when the Mustangs evened the score at 18-all after an attack error. However, Wentworth used a 7-2 run to close out the set with a 25-20 win and complete the sweep.

Freshman Scott Skarzynski (Webster, N.Y.) had eight kills and two blocks in the win. Drouse finished with seven kills and three blocks while junior Sean Mullen (Longwood, Fla.) had six kills on seven swings for a .714 attack percentage. Freshman Xhuljo Zyba (Holbrook, Mass.) had five kills in the match. Junior Collin Ritter (Feeding Hills, Mass.) and freshman Augusto Rodriguez-Guerrios (Guaynabo, P.R.) had 13 and 8 assists, respectively, while freshman Jessie Lefler (Rochester, N.Y.) had seven digs and six assists. Wentworth hit .319 as a team and held Mount Ida to -.164.

Wentworth 3, Johnson & Wales 2
A marathon opening set saw the Leopards fall behind, 1-0 as the Wildcats took a 33-31 win. The set was faced-paced and featured 17 ties. Wentworth held the largest lead of the set – three points – on three occasions, including when senior Jake Reed (Arvada, Colo.) recorded a kill to make it 18-15. Johnson & Wales came back with three straight points to even the score at 18-all and the teams pretty much traded points the remainder of the way, with each staving off set point on numerous occasions. A Mullen kill gave the Black & Gold a 31-30 lead, however the Wildcats scored the final three points to claim the set. Wentworth hit .351 in the opening frame.

The Leopards evened the match at a set apiece with a 25-16 win in the second set. Wentworth trailed 4-3, however scored four straight points – capped off by a Reed ace – to make it 7-4. After Johnson & Wales tied the score at 7-all, Wentworth used a 10-4 run to take a 17-11 lead when junior Ollie Oshman (Pennington, N.J.) recorded a block. Johnson & Wales made the score 21-15 after a block, however that would be as close as the Wildcats would come as the Leopards prevailed, 25-16.

Johnson & Wales used a 29-27 win in the third set to take a 2-1 lead. The Wildcats took a 12-10 lead after a block, however a 4-1 run gave Wentworth a 14-13 lead after a Skarzynski kill. Johnson & Wales tied the set on a kill but Wentworth went ahead after kills from Ritter and senior Mike Hansen (Rochester, N.Y.). A service error gave Wentworth a 20-19 lead, however the Wildcats scored the next three points to take a 22-20 lead. After an attack error gave Johnson & Wales the chance for set point, a service error tied the set, which would also be tied at 25, 26, and 27-all before two straight Wildcat points ended the frame.

Wentworth forced a deciding set with a 25-19 win in the fourth set. The Leopards took a 13-11 lead after a kill from Reed, however Johnson & Wales scored two quick points to tie the set at 13-all. The frame would be tied three more times before Reed put Wentworth ahead for good, 18-17 with a kill. Leading 19-18, the Leopards scored six of the final seven points to take a 25-19 win and even the match 2-all.

Johnson & Wales opened the fifth set by scoring the first two points, however seven straight Leopard points, including a pair of kills from Mullen, gave the Black & Gold a 7-2 lead. The Wildcats crept to within two (7-5) but four of the next five points were scored by the Black & Gold to take an 11-6 lead and take the match with a 15-11 win in the set.

Reed and Mullen had career highs for kills with 30 and 26, respectively. For Reed, the 30 kills tie him for the third-most in a match in program history and he also hit .463 and had nine digs. Mullen added three aces and a block. Skarzynski, Hansen, and Oshman finished with seven kills apiece. Hansen had three blocks, Skarzynski served two aces, and Oshman had two blocks. Ritter had a career-high 65 assists to go along with 10 digs and two blocks. Senior Mike Rogachefsky (Rochester, N.Y.) finished with 16 digs, matching his career high.

Wentworth (19-6, 8-1 GNAC) is at Rivier on Tuesday.

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