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Back to the 'Ship; Men's Volleyball Sweeps Johnson & Wales in GNAC Semifinals

Back to the 'Ship; Men's Volleyball Sweeps Johnson & Wales in GNAC Semifinals

BOSTON, Mass. – Senior Jake Reed (Arvada, Colo.) recorded 15 kills and hit .367 to help pace the Wentworth Institute of technology men's volleyball team a 3-0 victory over Johnson & Wales in the semifinal round of the 2017 Great Northeast Athletic Conference Tournament Thursday night in Tansey Gymnasium.

With the win the top-seeded Leopards (26-6) advance to their second straight GNAC championship match and will host second-seeded Lasell (29-5) on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. The Lasers punched their ticket to the title match with a 3-1 win over third-seeded Rivier. The Wildcats end their season with a 20-15 record.

Reed had six kills in the opening set while hitting .556 and junior Ollie Oshman (Pennington, N.J.) was a perfect 4-0-4 as the Leopards took a 25-16 win. After junior Kanila Chang (Orlando, Fla.) tied the set at 4-all with a kill, Wentworth rolled off five straight points and took a 9-4 lead on a kill from Oshman. A junior Sean Mullen (Longwood, Fla.) kill made it 15-9, however Johnson & Wales would pull within four twice, including after a setting error made it 17-13. Wentworth closed out the set on an 8-3 run and senior Alex Potts (Niverville, N.Y.) ended the set with a kill. Wentworth hit a match-high .355 in the set.

The second set featured seven ties and a lead change as the Wildcats opened the frame by taking a 7-4 run after a kill from senor Kyle MacKnight (East Northport, N.Y.). Wentworth scored the next four points, which included a pair of aces from Mullen, and took an 8-7 lead. The teams went back and forth until the leopards took the lead for good at 15-14 on a Mullen kill and extended the lead to 16-14 on a kill from junior Jon Roat (Macedon, N.Y.). An attack error gave Wentworth a 20-17 lead and freshman Zach Turner (Coventry, R.I.) brought the visitors within a pair with a kill. However, that would as close as the Wildcats would come as Wentworth scored five of the last six points to take a 2-0 lead with a 25-19 win.

Reed helped the Leopards complete the sweep with six kills in the third set as the Leopards battled back from an early deficit to take a 10-7 lead after Roat served an ace. A Reed kill extended the lead to 16-11 before the Wildcats scored the next three points and pulled within two (16-14) when Chang and sophomore Matt LaVasseur (Salem, N.H.) combined for a block. A Roat kill made it 17-14, however Johnson & Wales got back within two after a service error. Reed had a kill and an ace which put the hosts ahead 19-15 and, after the Wildcats mounted a comeback to pull within three at 22-19, two kills from Mullen sandwiched around one from Oshman ended the match. The Leopards hit .343 as a team in the set

In addition to Reed's 15 kills, Mullen had 10 kills, three aces, and three digs. Oshman hit .727 as he recorded nine kills on 11 swings while only committing one error and Potts had six kills on eight swings with just one error (.625). Roat had five kills and six digs, junior Collin Ritter (Feeding Hills, Mass.) had 38 assists and a dozen digs, and senior Mike Rogachefsky (Rochester, N.Y.) had 17 digs. As a team the Leopards hit .313 for the match.

MacKnight led Johnson & Wales with eight kills and two blocks while MacKnight had six kills.

Saturday's title match will feature two teams ranked fifth and 11th, respectively, in the latest AVCA Division III Men's Poll as well as the number two (Wentworth) and three (Lasell) teams in the third set of regional rankings produced by the NCAA. The two teams split their regular-season meetings this season as the Lasers outlasted the Leopards 3-2, in Newton, on March 23 and Wentworth earned a 3-1 win against Lasell at Albertus Magnus on April 1. The Black & Gold lead the all-time series, 20-15.

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