BOSTON, Mass. – The defending Great Northeast Athletic Conference champion Wentworth Institute of Technology men's volleyball team kicked off conference play on Saturday with its first GNAC victory of the season, a 3-1 triumph over Johnson & Wales, before dispatching of Newbury, 3-0, in a tri-match hosted at Tansey Gymnasium.
With the wins the fifth-ranked Leopards improve to 9-3 on the season. The Wildcats defeated the Nighthawks, 3-0, in the middle match, putting Johnson & Wales at 8-9 (1-3) and Newbury at 1-5.
MATCH ONE: Wentworth 3, Johnson & Wales 1
Wentworth broke a 4-4 tie in the first set and would lead by as many as seven (17-10) after an attack error. Johnson & Wales closed the gap to as few as four on three occasions and scored four out of six points at one point to close the gap to 22-20. A kill from senior Jake Reed (Arvada, Colo.) and an ace from classmate Alex Potts (Niverville, N.Y.) extended the lead to 24-20, however the Wildcats scored two quick points to bring the score to 24-22 before junior Ollie Oshman (Pennington, N.J.) ended the set with a kill. Potts had four kills in the set while Reed added three. Junior Kanila Chang (Orlando, Fla.) had five kills for the Wildcats in the set.
The Leopards took a 2-0 lead with a 26-24 win in the second set, a set which saw eight ties and one lead change. Johnson & Wales led by three early on three occasions, including after an attack error made it 14-11. Wentworth scored five of the next six points and led 16-15 after a ball handling error. The teams battled back and forth for the remainder of the set and Wentworth took a 23-20 lead after a kill from Oshman. However, Johnson & Wales bounced back to score the next three points and tie the set at 23-all. Junior Jon Roat (Macedon, N.Y.) made it 24-23 with a kill, however set point was staved off when sophomore Cameron Ponce (San Jose, Calif.) and freshman Zach Turner (Coventry, R.I.) combined for a block. Roat again gave the Leopards set point with a kill and an attack error won the set. Roat had eight kills and hit .538, while Potts added five kills. Chang and Turner had five and four kills, respectively.
Johnson & Wales kept the match alive with a 26-24 win in the third set, which had 12 ties and eight lead changes. With Wentworth holding a 20-19 lead, the Wildcats scored five straight points to set up set point at 24-20. A pair of errors and an ace from Roat closed the gap to 24-23, however Johnson & Wales ended the set with a kill. Roat had another huge set, recording seven kills and hitting .700.
Wentworth led wire-to-wire in the fourth set breaking open a 12-10 score with a 13-4 run to close out the set. The Leopards hit .650 in the set, making one error on 20 swings. Potts (5-0-6, three blocks) and Roat (4-0-7) paced the offense.
Roat finished the match with 21 kills and hit .486 to go along with 10 digs. Potts had 15 kills, two aces, and three blocks, while Reed and Oshman had eight and six kills, respectively. Senior Mike Hansen (Rochester, N.Y.) had three kills and four blocks. Freshman Augusto Rodriguez-Guerrios (Guaynbo, P.R.) and junior Collin Ritter (Feeding Hills, Mass.) had 29 and 21 assists respectively, while senior Mike Rogachefsky (Rochester, N.Y.) had nine digs.
MATCH TWO: Wentworth 3, Newbury 0
Wentworth made quick work of Newbury in a match which lasted just 51 minutes. As a team the Leopards hit .441 and forced their opponents to hit -.143 for the match.
While the opening set saw five ties and a pair of lead changes, Wentworth took the lead for good at 12-11 on a freshman Ryan Love (Gaithersburg, Md.) service ace. This was one of five straight points Love served which opened up a 16-11 lead. Leading 19-14, the Leopards scored six of the next 10 points to take the 25-17 win. Freshman Scott Skarzynski (Webster, N.Y.) had five kills in the set while classmate Ryan Engel (Floral Park, N.Y.) had four kills and two aces.
The second and third sets saw Wentworth lead wire-to-wire to complete the sweep. In the second set the Black & Gold jumped out to leads of 4-0 and 7-1 and took their largest lead of the set on the set-clinching point, a service ace from freshman Noah Adelstein (Fairfield, Conn.). Skarzynski had three kills in the set while Adelstein served two aces.
In the third set Wentworth jumped out to a 7-0 lead with sophomore Brian Drouse (Dallas, Pa.) serving six straight points and never looked back, cruising to a 25-12 win.
Love and freshman Xhuljo Zyba (Holbrook, Mass.) each had four kills in the set while Drouse served three aces.
Skarzynski led the Leopards with eight kills while Engel and Adelstein had seven kills piece. Adelstein served three aces and Engel served two. Rodriguez-Guerrios and freshman Jesse Lefler (Rochester, N.Y.) had 16 and 12 assists, respectively.
Wentworth hosts Emmanuel on Wednesday.
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