BOSTON, Mass. – The Wentworth Institute of Technology men's volleyball team ran its win streak to four straight games, defeating Lasell College and No. 15 Arcadia on Saturday afternoon inside Tansey Gymnasium. The Leopards remain undefeated both at home (4-0) and in the GNAC (2-0), and knock off their first nationally ranked opponent this season, while improving to 5-1 overall.
Sophomore Ryan Love (Gaithersburg, Md.) led three Leopards in double figures with a career-high 18 kills, and added 13 digs for his first double-double of the season. Wentworth narrowly took the opening sets before the Lasers opened up the third frame with a 10-5 run following a quick snipe from senior Andy Henriquez (Lawrence, Mass.). An ace from Henriquez kept the double-up gap 12-6, before Wentworth sparked an 8-2 run, tying the set 14-14 with a Love kill. The set tied twice more, as a 3-0 spurt gave WIT a 19-16 lead, but Lasell turned a run of their own and stole the lead back for good, 23-22 after a Wentworth attack miscue. Both conference opponents were neck-and-neck in the third set, while Lasell only pulled away in the closing plays with a 4-0 run as both teams headed into the deciding frame. The Leopards led from start to finish and never allowed Lasell to tie the set or take the lead, as a final block from junior Augusto Rodriquez-Guerrios (San Juan, P.R.) and freshman Ian Carlson (Parker, Colo,) sealed the 3-2 match victory.
Carlson and junior Ryan Engel (Floral Park, N.Y.) each booked 14 kills in the victory, which marks a career-best for Carlson. Sophomore Peter Klembczyk (Penfield, N.Y.) led a strong team effort defensively with 20 digs, while Engel, Love, and Guerrios each contributed with double-digit defense as well. Rodriquez-Guerrios set another career-high mark of 51 assists while also adding 11 digs in a double-double performance.
Match Two – Wentworth 3, No. 15 Arcadia 2 (24-26, 25-19, 25-23, 15-25, 17-15)
The Leopards took down the first nationally ranked opponent faced this season in an absolute battle, as two of the five sets required extra points. Despite the Knights riding momentum after a fourth set win, Wentworth opened the deciding set – its second of the day – with a 5-2 run capped by a kill from Engel. The Knights quickly answered with the next six of seven points, 8-7, before the set saw nothing but ties until the last plays of the match. At 15-15 after a kill from Quinn Baily, Love smashed his final kill of the evening for match-point opportunity, before the Knights surrendered the match on a final attack error by Austin Braas. The Leopards snapped a fix-game win streak from the Knights, who head home at 9-4.
Love matched his career-high with 18 kills (.341%), while Engel also matched his season-best of 15 kills, added 10 digs for two double-doubles on the day. Rodriquez-Guerrios led the Black and Gold with 47 assists, while Klembczyk again led on defense with 17 digs. Freshman Drew Hesse (Eden, N.Y.) and Engel rounded out double-digit defense with 10 digs apiece.
Wentworth (5-1) will face its second nationally ranked opponent on Saturday Tuesday when No. 1 Springfield comes to town for a 7:00 p.m. match.
For the latest on Wentworth Athletics, follow the Leopards via social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Fans can also download the Wentworth Leopards "Front Row" mobile app, powered by PrestoSports, on iTunes and the Android Market.