BOSTON, Mass. – Freshman outside hitter Barrett Wingard (Dallastown, Pa.) registered a game-high 21 kills while hitting .545 from the floor to lead the Emmanuel College men's volleyball team past Wentworth Institute of Technology, 3-1 (23-25, 25-17, 25-16, 25-17), Tuesday evening at the Jean Yawkey Center. With the victory, the Saints improve to 5-9 overall and 3-1 in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) action while the Leopards fall to 9-5 overall and 2-1 in the GNAC.
In the opening set, Wentworth jumped out to an early 7-5 advantage, before the Saints would rally to score tie the score at 9-9. An ace by freshman Julian Hess (Santa Monica, Calif.) and a setting error on Wentworth would put the Saints up 11-9. Wentworth would fight to get back in the set, and eventually took a 16-13 lead off of an ace and kill by sophomore Rami Akouri (Fall River, Mass.). Both teams would trade points to push the score to 21-18 in favor of Wentworth. Emmanuel came back to within a point, however a kill by Brian Mann (East Freetown, Mass.) lead to a 25-23 first set victory for Wentworth.
The second set saw both sides trade the first four points before an ace by Wingard put the Saints up 6-5. The Saints extended the lead to 10-6 after an Ashanti Jackson (Sacramento, Calif.) kill followed by a Wentworth error. A huge kill by Nick Updike (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) and a Wentworth error pushed the Emmanuel lead to 15-9. The lead was pushed to 23-17 as both sides exchanged points. An ace by Brett Pettis (Haverhill, Mass.) and an Updike kill finished off the set for the Saints with a 25-17 victory.
In the third set, Emmanuel was able to jump out to an early 4-0 advantage. The two sides would exchange points pushing the score to 9-5 in favor of Emmanuel. A pair of kills from Updike and sophomore Ryan Kessler (Santa Clarita, Calif.) would extend the Saints lead to 12-6. A push by Wentworth would close the gap to 13-10. Emmanuel would than string off three points, capped by a Wingard kill to extend the league to 16-10. The Saints continued the strong play in the set, and pushed the lead to 20-11. The Leopards would come within 7, with the score at 21-14, but that would be as close as Wentworth got in the set. Kessler's final kill pushed the saints to a 25-16 victory in the set.
In the final set, Emmanuel again would jump out to an early advantage, as the hosts got out to a 5-1 start. Wentworth and Emmanuel would go back and forth to put the score at 10-6.A Jackson kill put the lead at 12-9. However, Wentworth would not go away, as they came back within one point with to put the score at 12-11. Emmanuel held off the Leopards, and extended the lead to 17-13 off of a Wentworth error. A pair of aces from Updike would end the Wentworth comeback, as the Saint's lead was pushed to 21-16. The Saints would go on to finish the game with three consecutive points to cruise to the 25-17 victory in the set, and the 3-1 match victory over Wentworth.
Kessler and Jackson each finished the match with 12 kills for EC while Updike ran the offense with a match-high 46 assists.
Mann led the way for the Leopards with 12 kills, four blocks, and a .550 hitting percentage. Sophomore Sean Donahue (Lincoln, R.I.) and junior Mike Buonincontra (Shelton, Conn.) had six kills apiece, with Buonincontra adding six digs and three blocks.
The Saints will return to action on Thursday evening when they host Division I Harvard University. The Leopards are idle until March 15 when they travel to Providence, R.I. for the Wildcat Invitational hosted by Johnson & Wales University.
(Recap Courtesy of Emmanuel Sports Information)