January 25, 2014

Men's Volleyball Captures Tournament Crown; Burdett Reaches Milestone

MARCY, N.Y. – The Wentworth Institute of Technology men's volleyball team swept a pair of matches and in the process captured the 2014 SUNYIT Invitational. With the two wins, the Leopards improve to 4-0 for the first time since the 2001 edition of the Leopards began the season with a 5-0 record.

Senior Ross Burdett (Needham, Mass.) had five kills in the day's first match, a 3-0 win over SUNYIT, and became the second player in program history to eclipse the 1,000 kill plateau. Burdett presently stands at 1,004 kills.

Against the Wildcats, the Leopards set the tone early by hitting .700 as a team (15-1-20) and taking the first set by a 25-9 score. Wentworth took a 2-0 lead with a 25-13 win in the second set and completed the sweep with a 25-14 win in the third set. In all three sets the Black & Gold, who hit .466 for the match, forced SUNYIT into hitting for a negative attack percentage.

Freshman Jake Reed (Arvada, Colo.) had 12 kills on 16 swings for a .562 attack percentage, while classmate Sam Pisker (Mullica Hill, N.J.) had 10 kills and four blocks. Junior Sean Donahue (Lincoln, R.I.) and freshman Alex Potts (Nierville, N.Y.) finished with seven and six kills, respectively. Potts also contributed with four blocks. Freshman Collin Ritter (Feeding Hills, Mass.) had 34 assists and sophomore Zach Newhouse (Lancaster, Calif.) had a team-high four digs.

The Leopards claimed the title with a 3-0 win over D'Youville as, again, a strong first set would set the tone. Wentworth hit .647 (12-1-17) in the opening frame, taking a 25-15 victory. The second set would see Wentworth prevail by a 25-18 score before completing the sweep with a 25-20 win.

A balanced attacked paced the Leopards in the win. Pisker had six kills, four aces, and a pair of blocks, while Donahue, Potts, junior Rami Akouri (Fall River, Mass.), and sophomore Elijah Egalite (Bayonne, N.J.) had five kills apiece. Freshman Mike Hansen (Rochester, N.Y.) had three blocks, sophomore Bill Shimkus (Sudbury, Mass.) had 20 assists and two blocks, and Ritter added 10 assists. Senior Mike Buonincontra (Shelton, Conn.) had a team-high five digs.

The Leopards have both their home and Great Northeast Athletic Conference opener on Wednesday against Emerson at 8:00 p.m.