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volleyball-men-d3 flag | February 2, 2014

DIII: Rivier knocks off top-ranked Springfield

NASHUA, N.H. -- Hosting preseason No. 1 Springfield, the No. 8 Rivier earned a hard-fought four-set win by scores of 25-22. 19-25, 25-19 and 25-13. This was the program's first win against a No. 1 team and it was also the first time that Rivier has ever defeated Springfield.

Senior Aaron Almario and junior Chris Markuson each had 12 kills to lead the offensive attack for Rivier. Freshman Tyler Blank made 37 assists, 5 digs -- a team high -- and 4 total blocks in his Raider debut. Almario recorded an illustrious .526 hitting percentage and five total blocks (two solos). Senior Terrence Matatall added 8 kills and five total blocks of his own in the season opening win.

Springfield saw a solid effort from sophomore Luis Vega who had the game high of 15 kills. Fellow Puerto Rican Angel Perez added 14 kills and senior Ryan Malone had 10 kills to pace the Pride offense. Junior Keaton Pieper was the game's assists leader with 42 with Vega leading the defense with 7 digs.

The win for Rivier snapped Springfield's 30-game win streak against NCAA Division III opponents.

No. 8 Rivier 3, Newbury 1

NASHUA, N.H. -- Just a few hours later, Rivier finished the day with two victories with a 3-1 win against Newbury by scores of 25-17, 24-26, 25-12 and 25-12 in the fourth and final game of day one at the 2014 Live Free or Die Invitational.

Junior Cam Phegley-Walker led the way for the Raiders as he registered a .435 hitting percentage with 13 kills and 10 service aces. Fellow juniors Matt Tutino and Brendan Tutino added 8 kills and 7 kills, respectively, in the win. Freshmen Matthew Ortiz and Matthew LaSance each recorded 21 assists with sophomore Mike Hovnanian providing the defensive effort with 7 digs to go along with his 9 kills. Sophomore Nick Ochoa also finished with 6 digs for Rivier.

Newbury got 10 kills from senior Jake Powell and another 5 from freshman Billy Stephen in their first four set game of the young season. Junior Chi Yin Li was the game's assist leader as he assisted on 24 of the team's 27 kills.

No. 1 Springfield 3, Johnson & Wales (R.I.) 0

NASHUA, N.H. -- Springfield rebounded from its first Division III loss of the season to sweep Johnson & Wales (R.I.) on Saturday afternoon at Rivier.  Springfield took the match 25-19, 25-17, 26-24.

Luis Vega posted nine kills at a .457 clip in two sets of action for the Pride, while Greg Woods added six kills. Jimmy O’Leary registered five blocks and Luis Garcia Rubio ran the offense with 28 assists.

Shawn Kennedy led Johnson & Wales with seven kills in the match, and J.J. Bessette was credited with 20 assists as the Wildcats hit .101 on the night.

No. 3 Juniata 3, No. T5 UC Santa Cruz 1
No. 3 Juniata 3, No. 2 Nazareth 2

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Third-ranked Juniata came from behind to defeat No. T5 UC Santa Cruz 3-1 (18-25, 25-21, 26-24, 28-26) before upsetting No. 2 Nazareth College 3-2 (22-25, 33-35, 25-22, 25-18, 15-10) in a five-set thriller at the Golden Flyer Invitational.

"Getting two wins against top five ranked teams, it really shows how hard the guys have been working to be able to compete and battle against strong programs," head coach Kevin Moore said. "Our guys are doing the right kinds of things in the gym every day and they're able to carry it over every day to matches and situations."

Juniata (7-1) continues to dominate defensively at the net and finished with 26 total blocks on the day. It was led by junior Paul Kuhn, who appeared in every set and averaged more than three kills per set with a team-high 28.

Sophomore Chad Albert was the most accurate on the day. He hit .516 with 19 kills and just three errors and also led the team in blocks with 13, grabbing a career-high four solo against Santa Cruz. And fellow sophomore Matt Elias helped defensively while sparking the offense. He finished with a team-high 23 digs and led with a team-high 93 assists.

No. 2 Nazareth 3, Thiel 1

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Second-ranked Nazareth started its day at its own Golden Flyer Tournament with a four-set win against Thiel, winning by scores of 25-17, 27-29, 25-20, 25-17.

Sophomore Tim Zyburt had 13 kills and nine digs, junior Luke Lawatsch recorded 12 kills and classmate Brody Cord finished with 11 kills. Sophomores Grant Levermore and Chris Mahan added eight kills and six kills, respectively. Junior Nick McDonagh amassed a match-high 47 assists as he organized the majority of Nazareth's attacks.

Defensively, Nazareth received nine digs apiece from Levermore, Zyburt, and sophomore Cory Randolph. Levermore also added two solo blocks and an assisted block while Lawatsch had a solo block and four assisted blocks.

Levermore and Lawatsch each had two service aces as Nazareth finished with a 6-2 advantage in aces over the course of the match.

Michael Whitelock had a team-high 10 kills and only one error on 17 attempts for Thiel. Whitelock also had two solo blocks. Corey Hamilton and Zack Rombach shared the setting duties for the Tomcats. Hamilton finished with 17 assists, and Rombach recorded 13 assists. Dylan Lasher and Ian Phillips each tallied seven digs.

No. 4 SUNY New Paltz 3, No. 14 Kean 1
No. 4 SUNY New Paltz 3, Lancaster Bible 0

UNION, N.J. -- SUNY New Paltz remained undefeated in a tri-match Saturday afternoon at Kean, topping the host and 14th-ranked Cougars 3-1 (25-23, 25-23, 19-25, 25-23), before downing Lancaster Bible College 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-18).

New Paltz gritted out a 3-1 win against Kean, and its .252 hitting percentage overcame 23 service errors. Kean, meanwhile, was limited to .173 hitting, but the Cougars made up for it with 10.5 total team blocks. The Hawks rested a number of their starters during their match against Lancaster Bible, and a .259 hitting percentage versus the Chargers' .092 mark helped vault New Paltz to the straight-set win.

Tim Ferriter and sophomore middle blocker Christopher Husmann led the way against Kean with 15 and 13 kills, respectively, while Christian Smith doled out 44 assists. Husmann and Ferriter helped out on defense too, with eight and seven digs, respectively, while senior libero Victor Tuminelli came up with a match-high nine digs.

No. T5 Baruch 3, Johnson & Wales (R.I.) 0
No. T5 Baruch 3, Daniel Webster 0

NASHUA, N.H. -- Baruch won its two matches on Saturday at the Live Free or Die Invitational hosted jointly by Rivier and Daniel Webster.

The Bearcats, tied for fifth in the national rankings, began by sweeping Johnson & Wales in three sets with scores of 28-26, 25-13, 25-12. Jack McKee had 12 kills and four aces while Brady Ambro hit .500 and had 12 kills.

They followed up in the second match against Daniel Webster with a 25-17, 25-18, 25-16 sweep to raise their season record to 3-0. Brian Coniglio had 28 assists in that match.

No. 7 Carthage 3, No. 15 Medaille 1
No. 7 Carthage 3, Hilbert 0

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Carthage (2-2, 0-0 Continental Volleyball Conference), ranked seventh in the AVCA poll, opened play at the Nazareth College Golden Flyer Invitational on Saturday with a 3-1 win against No. 15 Medaille College (1-2) and a 3-0 sweep of Hilbert College (3-5) at the Robert A. Kidera Gym.

The Red Men's winning set scores against the Mavericks were 32-30, 17-25, 25-19 and 25-19, and their winning scores against the Hawks were 25-8, 25-16 and 25-21.

In the win against Medaille, Jon Storm led Carthage with 18 kills, a .333 attack percentage and three block assists. Jim Schultz had 10 kills and hit. 286, while J.P. Tulaka collected seven kills with two block solos and two block assists. Setter Connor Wexter averaged 10.75 assists per set. In the Hilbert contest, Spencer Dove led the way with seven kills.

No. 9 New York University 3, Lasell 0

NEWTON, Mass. -- Ninth-ranked New York University captured its third victory of the season with a three-set win against Lasell on Saturday. The final score was 25-20, 25-22, 25-21.

Lasell (4-2) entered the action on a four-match win streak, as well as victors of 12 of its last 13 sets played. NYU (3-1, 1-0 United Volleyball Conference) entered the match coming off of a five-set come-from-behing victory against No. 11 Stevens Institute of Technology. Both teams' only loss on the season came at the hands of first-ranked Springfield College.

"We played well today and kept command of the match," NYU head coach Jose Pina said.

The Violets controlled the match with an efficient offensive attack. The squad hit .448 in the first game, .346 in the second and .433 in the third en route to 49 total kills.

"We still need to improve on our consistency and stop giving up points in bunches," Pina said. "Overall everyone played well and it is great to see us growing as a team."

Nick Capriccio and Colin LaPorte led the way with 10 kills. Capriccio tallied five blocks while LaPorte had three digs. Connor Mortland dished out 35 assists to go along with nine digs.

No. 10 Stevenson 3, Penn State-Altoona 0

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Stevenson's trio of seniors Jon Martin and Austin Jacoby and sophomore Kyle Pottieger combined for 25 kills and nine total blocks as the Mustangs overcame a sluggish start en route to a 25-23, 25-20, 25-14 victory against Penn State-Altoona Saturday at Owins Mills Gymnasium.

Stevenson (5-1) posted its sixth consecutive home victory and is now 11-2 at home during the past two seasons. The win also marked the team's second sweep at home against the Nittany Lions in as many years after the Mustangs posted a 25-15, 25-18, 25-20 victory on Mar. 23, 2013.

Martin finished with nine kills and three blocks, Pottieger totaled six kills and 5 blocks while Jacoby added a team-high 10 kills and one block. Martin also added three service aces while Jacoby had three digs.

Stevenson finished with a .326 hitting percentage, just shy of their season-high of .329 versus City College of New York on January 26.

Senior Adam Thatcher finished with 13 digs while junior David Moler had with 37 assists, six digs and two service aces.

The Lions (1-2) were led by Jacob Byers who had five kills. Daniel Roberts, Zack Graham and Daniel Reilly each had four.