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Men's Volleyball Claims Top Seed in GNAC Tournament

Men's Volleyball Claims Top Seed in GNAC Tournament

BOSTON, Mass. – For the second straight season the Wentworth Institute of Technology men's volleyball team has earned the top seed in the upcoming Great Northeast Athletic Conference Tournament. The seventh-ranked Leopards claimed the top spot with a 3-0 win over Mount Ida before sweeping ninth-ranked NYU to close out the day.

Wentworth 3, Mount Ida 0
Wentworth got off to a fast start against the Mustangs, hitting .533 in the opening set, a set the Leopards took 25-6. The Black & Gold scored the first five points of the set before the Mustangs scored three of the next four points. However, a sophomore Brian Drouse (Dallas, Pa.) kill ended the spurt and helped ignite an 8-1 run with broke the set open. The Mustangs hit -.333 in the first set.

A slow start to the second set saw the Leopards trail 3-2, however Wentworth, which hit .556 in the frame, used a 7-2 run and took a 9-5 lead after an attack error. After Mount Ida ended the run with a kill, Wentworth used a 14-1 run to take a 23-7 lead and cruised to a 25-10 win.

The Leopards finished the match with a 25-20 win in the third set, however it was back and forth for most of the set. After freshman Ryan Love (Gaithersburg, Md.) recorded a kill to give Wentworth a 19-18 lead, the Mustangs tied the score when Wentworth committed a ball handling error. However, freshman Scott Skarzynski (Webster, N.Y.) recorded a kill which started a 6-1 run to end the match.

Freshman Ryan Engel (Floral Park, N.Y.) had eight kills with zero errors on 15 swings for a .533 attack percentage. Skarzynski and Drouse each finished with seven kills, freshman Augusto Rodriguez-Guerrios (Guaynabo, P.R.) had 17 assists, and senior Sean Mullen (Longwood, Fla.) and junior Jon Roat (Macedon, N.Y.) combined for seven service aces. Wentworth hit .443 as a team and forced the Mustangs to hit -.030.

Wentworth 3, NYU 0
Wentworth raced out to a 12-3 lead in the first set against the Violets, which included a pair of kills and an ace from senior Jake Reed (Arvada, Colo.). NYU would close the gap to 16-10 and force the Leopards to take a time out. Out of the time out, Wentworth scored three of the next four points and took a 19-11 lead after a Roat block. NYU responded with three straight points, however four straight Leopard points distanced the Black & Gold from the Violets and the hosts won, 25-16. Wentworth forced NYU to hit -.263 in the set.

Both teams hit over .300 in the second set, a set won by Wentworth 25-21. The teams traded points in the early going before the Leopards took a 13-10 lead after a service error. NYU came back to take leads of 17-16 and 19-18 and tied the set at 20-all before a block and a kill from Roat broke the tie and lifted Wentworth to the win.

The Leopards closed out the match with a 25-20 win in the third set. After scoring the first three points of the set, Wentworth took a 7-3 lead on a block from senior Alex Potts (Niverville, N.Y.). NYU climbed to within three on three occasions, including at 18-15, however the Leopards scored five straight points – including two coming off aces by Mullen – to take a 23-15 lead.

Mullen finished the match with nine kills and four aces. Reed had eight kills and hit .429, Roat had six kills and two blocks, Potts had four kills and six blocks, senior Mike Hansen (Rochester, N.Y.) had four kills and three blocks, and junior Collin Ritter (Feeding Hills, Mass.) had 24 assists and six blocks. Wentworth, which hit .355 for the match, had 11 blocks as a team.

Prior to the match, the Leopards' five seniors – Mullen, Potts, Reed, Hansen, and Mike Rogachefsky (Rochester, N.Y.) were honored as a part of Senior Day ceremonies.

Winners of eight straight, Wentworth improves to 25-6 overall and completes GNAC play at 13-1. The Leopards have earned – for the second straight season and third time in the last four years – a first-round bye and will host either fourth-seeded Johnson & Wales on fifth-seeded Emerson in a semifinal match on Thursday at 7:00 p.m.

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