PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Seniors Jon Roat (Rochester, N.Y.) and Ollie Oshman (Pennington, N.J.) combined for 27 kills and six blocks to help the Wentworth Institute of Technology men's volleyball team rally to defeat Johnson & Wales, 3-1, in Great Northeast Athletic Conference action Wednesday night.
Winners of three straight the 13th-ranked Leopards improve to 8-3 overall and 2-1 in GNAC play while the Wildcats fall to 3-8 (0-2).
After Johnson & Wales opened the first set with three straight points, Wentworth quickly tied the score at 3-all, which included kills from Roat and freshman Sean Spencer (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.). The Wildcats regained the lead, 6-4, after an attack error, however, a kill from Spencer and an attack error evened things at 6-all. Three more ties ensued before the hosts used a 6-2 spurt to take a 15-11 lead after a setting error. Wentworth battled back to tie the score at 17-all after a Johnson & Wales attack error and eventually served for the set after Oshman and senior Collin Ritter (Feeding Hills, Mass.) teamed up for a block. The Wildcats scored three of the next four points, taking a 26-25 lead after a Leopard attack error. A ball handling error evened the set at 26-all, however, Johnson & Wales took advantage of two Wentworth errors to take the first set, 28-26.
Wentworth battled back to tie the match at a set apiece with a 25-21 win in the second set. After taking a 6-5 lead on a service error, the Leopards saw the Wildcats go on a 9-3 run and take a 14-9 lead after an attack error. The Black & Gold pulled within a pair at 16-16 after a kill from Roat, however, the hosts scored four of the next five points and led, 20-15, after an attack error. A kill from Oshman started a 10-1, set-ending run for the visitors, who received a pair of kills from both Oshman and Roat and a pair of aces from sophomore Ryan Engel (Floral Park, N.Y.) during the run. Wentworth forced Johnson & Wales to hit -.080 in the frame.
The third set was all Wentworth as the Leopards jumped out to a 9-4 lead and never looked back. After a service error made it a 10-5 score, Johnson & Wales scored the next two points, coming on kills from Kelley and sophomore Sanjae Holloway (East Hartford, Conn.) to pull within three at 10-7, however, an attack error began a stretch of four straight Leopard points as Oshman recorded a kill and Ritter served back-to-back aces. Three straight Wildcat points made it 14-10 before a pair of attack errors started a 7-2 Wentworth run and gave the Black & Gold a 20-12 lead. Johnson & Wales scored the next three points to pull within five (20-15), however, five straight points, capped off by a kill from Ritter, gave Wentworth the 25-15 win.
Wentworth took a 6-2 lead to begin the fourth set before a kill from Kelley and an attack error put the Wildcats within two at 6-4. Scoring five of the next seven points, the Leopards took an 11-6 lead on a kill from Ritter before the hosts pulled back within a pair after scoring three straight points. The Black & Gold held a lead of at least two points throughout the set before extending their lead to 21-17 after Oshman put down a kill. Wentworth's largest lead of the set came after Spencer and sophomore Xhuljo Zyba (Holbrook, Mass.) teamed up for a block to make it 23-18. However, Johnson & Wales scored the next three points and pulled within two (23-21) on a kill from junior Cameron Ponce (San Jose, Calif.). That would be as close as the Wildcats would come as a kill from Roat made it 24-21 and a ball handling error ended the match. Wentworth hit a match-high .375 in the frame.
Roat finished with 14 kills, nine digs, and three blocks in the win while Oshman had 13 kills, hit .524 (13-2-21), and recorded three blocks. Ritter had nine kills, 26 assists, two aces, seven digs and four blocks, Engel had six kills, two aces, nine digs, and two blocks, and Spencer had five kills and five blocks. Sophomore Augusto Rodriguez-Guerrios (Guaynabo, P.R.) has 20 assists while freshman Peter Klembczyk (Penfield, N.Y.) had 25 digs.
Kelley and Ponce had 11 and 10 kills, respectively, for Johnson & Wales while Sanchez had 31 assists.
Wentworth heads to Springfield on Saturday where the Leopards will face St. Joseph's of Long Island and the top-ranked Pride in a tri-match.
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