BOSTON, Mass. – The Wentworth Institute of Technology men's volleyball team swept Emmanuel and Emerson in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) tri-match action Saturday afternoon at Andy Yosinoff Court.
The Leopards, having swept both teams earlier this season, improve to 18-7 overall and 8-1 against league opponents.
The Leopards hit a scorching .417% in the first and seconds sets, cruising by the Lions with ease 25-14 and 25-13. Emerson showed life in the final set, erasing a three-point deficit on back-to-back kills and a Wentworth miscue, to even the field 6-6. Freshman Kevin Devine (Charlotte, Vt.) answered with a kill assisted by classmate Peyton Ranck (Seven Valleys, Pa.), and smashed a service ace for the 8-6 lead. After Emerson got one back on the board with a WIT service error, Wentworth answered with three straight points for the 11-7 score. The Lions wouldn't go quietly as a trio of errors pulled Emerson within a single point, 11-10, but that's as close as the opposition would get, as Wentworth sealed the sweep with a 15-8 run.
Senior Collin Ritter (Feeding Hills, Mass.) paced the Leopard offense with eight kills, and jumped up for a team-high three blocks in the win. Sophomore Ryan Love (Gaithersburg, Md.) and Devine were close behind with six kills, including .625% hitting from Devine, while senior Ollie Oshman (Pennington, N.J.) swung into five kills on five attempts with two blocks. Freshman Peter Klembczyk (Penfield, N.Y.) steered the Leopard defensive with ten digs, while sophomore Augusto Rodriguez-Guerrios (Guaynabo, P.R.) dished out 20 assists.
After both teams battled to a 6-6 tie to open the first set, Wentworth ignited a 6-3 spurt for the 12-9 score before Ritter took the service line and steered the Leopards to a five-point lead, 15-10. Two attack errors from Wentworth gave the hosts two points, sandwiched by a kill from Oshman, while a 5-1 run gave the Leopards a comfortable 21-13 lead. The gap forced Emmanuel to take a time out, as Alex Silva came out of the breather with a kill, but Wentworth closed the set scoring the last four of five points – including a kill apiece from love and junior Brian Drouse (Dallas, Pa.), to close the first frame.
Emmanuel battled back in the middle set, and jumped to a 4-0 lead via a kill apiece from John Carroll and Erik English with two Wentworth miscues. An attack error from the Saints closed the gap to two 6-4, as Wentworth rallied point-for-point until Xhuljo Zyba (Holbrook, Mass.) deadlocked the set 8-8 with a blast over the net. Zyba would again equalize the score 9-9, before Wentworth took its first lead of the set and never looked back, despite another two ties at 15-15 and 17-17. A quick 4-0 charge with Rodriquez-Guerrios on the serve boosted Wentworth's lead 20-17, before a 5-2 run put the set out of reach for the 25-19 final.
Wentworth held a comfortable lead in the final set of the afternoon, doubling up on Emmanuel 16-8 after a solo block from Ritter. A 4-2 spurt kept the double-digit gap 20-10, before Emmanuel turned a 5-2 run of their own, trailing 22-15. A Saints' miscue and a kill from Love gave Wentworth its first match point opportunity, but the Saints kept fighting, including three blocks in the stretch, before the Leopards closed the match on its fifth match-point.
Ritter was just shy of a triple-double with ten kills, 15 assists, and six digs, and played stellar defense with seven total blocks. Oshman recorded ten kills of his own on 13 swings for .769% hitting, while sophomore Ryan Engel (Floral Park, N.Y.) hit .667% with seven kills. Defensively, Drouse jumped up for five total blocks contributing to Wentworth's 15 total (14 BA, 1 BS), while Klembczyk matched his earlier stats with ten digs. Rodriquez-Guerrios and Ritter split setter duties, and dished out 23 and 15 assists, respectively.
The Leopards are back in action next weekend for a conference tri-match with Rivier and Regis in Nashua, N.H.
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