READING, Pa. – The Wentworth Institute of Technology men's volleyball team split with Lancaster Bible and Wells College to cap the Alvernia Invitational on Saturday afternoon. The Chargers broke the Leopards' two-game win streak in straight sets, before Wentworth bounced back for a 3-0 sweep of the Express.
GAME ONE – Lancaster Bible 3 Wentworth 0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-22)
After three ties to open the match, Wentworth pulled away for a 12-9 lead thanks to two kills from sophomore Ryan Love (Gaithersburg, Md.) and one from junior Brian Drouse (Dallas, Pa.). Lancaster Bible quickly erased the three-point deficit, as sophomore Kole Horst (New Holland, Pa.) swung into four straight aces to switch the lead in favor of the Chargers, 15-12. An ace from senior Collin Ritter (Feeding Hills, Mass.) and a kill from classmate Ollie Oshman (Pennington, N.J.) pulled the Leopards back within one, 15-14, as the set then experienced three additional lead changes for the 20-20 score. Lancaster Bible scored the final five of six points, including a final ace from Horst, for the narrow set win.
The Leopards hung with the Chargers in the second frame before Lancaster Bible ignited a 10-5 run to hold a 20-14 advantage. Both teams went back and forth on offense, as the Chargers held on for the 25-20 win. Lancaster Bible rode momentum into the final set of the morning, and scored the first 10 of 13 points. The Leopards rattled off four straight points with Love on the serve, including back-to-back assisted blocks from Ritter, Drouse, and sophomore Ryan Engel (Floral Park, N.Y.), as the score read 11-7 in favor of the Chargers. A three-point spurt pulled the Chargers away 15-9, but Wentworth prevailed as Ritter and sophomore Xhuljo Zyba (Holbrook, Mass.) forced Lancaster Bible to take a timeout, trialing by just two, 15-13. Out of the break, the Leopards would come as close as a single point, when Engel and Oshman jumped up for the block on defense for the 21-20 score. Lancaster Bible, however, kept its composure in the final plays, and ended the match on a 4-2 run for the 25-22 final.
Ritter led the Leopards with seven kills, 13 assists, and nine digs. Love and Zyba each swung into seven kills apiece, with Zyba committing just two errors for a .308 swinging percentage. Freshman Peter Klembczyk (Penfield, N.Y.) followed Ritter's lead with eight digs in the effort.
GAME TWO Wentworth 3 Wells 0 (25-21, 25-15, 30-28)
With Wentworth holding a 2-0 lead after hitting .306 and .414 in the opening sets, both teams went the distance in the final frame. Wentworth jumped to a 4-1 lead before the Express scored five straight points for the lead change, 6-4. Love answered with back-to-back swings off the hands of Ritter to take the lead again, 7-6. The Leopards held on to the advantage despite two deadlocks, and led by three points 15-12 after an assisted block from Oshman and Ritter. Zyba kept the gap at two (19-17), but the Express offense swung into three consecutive kills and regained the lead, 20-19. Both teams battled point-for-point, before a trio of Wells errors put Wentworth in match point position, 24-21. The Express wouldn't allow the Leopards to take the final set just yet, as four straight points reversed the match-point opportunity, 25-24. Tied 28-28, two final errors from Wells sealed the elongated set 30-28, along with the straight sweep victory.
Ritter recorded his second triple-double in four games with 11 kills, 24 assists, and 13 digs, highlighted by a .429 swinging percentage. Love swung into 12 kills to tie his season-high, and committed just a single error for a .440 percentage. Klembczyk hit the floor for 13 digs to round out double-digit defense for Wentworth.
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