Men’s volleyball holds 1-5 record in conference play following doubleheader

The men’s volleyball team lost to Lasell College 3-0 and to Rivier University 3-1 in a conference doubleheader in the Bobbi Brown and Steven Plofker Gym on Saturday.

The Lions hold a 1-5 record in Greater Northeast Athletic Conference play and rank sixth out of eight teams.

The first set against Lasell remained tightly contested until the Lions lost with a final score of 25-22. Freshman setter Josh Elliot led the team with seven assists, and junior setter Lucas Raagas had five.

The second set started close, but Lasell held a 12-8 advantage over the Lions. The Lions managed to bring the game back to a one-point difference, but two kills from Lasell and two attacking errors by senior outside hitter Mark Piorkowski allowed Lasell a 25-21 win.

Two attack errors and two well-planned offensive plays gave the Lions an early 4-0 lead in the third set. Emerson held onto the lead until Lasell took a one-point advantage because of an attacking error by senior middle blocker Win Kittivatcharapong. The set remained tightly contested, but the Lions lost 25-23 because of another attacking error by Kittivatcharapong—his third of the match. 

Despite losing all three sets to Lasell, the Lions totaled 39 points. Kittivatcharapong contributed 12.5—the second-highest of any player on either team and 0.5 points behind Lasell freshman outsider hitter Scott Sterenberg. Kittivatcharapong also led the team in service aces with four of a combined six. Piorkowski finished the match with 34 of the team’s 75 total attacks.

Head coach Ben Read said the Lions lost to Lasell because of serving and passing errors.

“Offensively, our team did a fairly good job. We had 17 service errors in three sets against Lasell and we’re not going to beat a lot of teams that way,” Read said. “That’s just giving the other team too many points. We had six service errors to one ace and that’s the difference of the game. We can out hit a game as much as we want, but if we can’t serve and pass that’s the difference.”

The second match of the doubleheader began at 3 p.m. against Rivier College. Rivier took an early 3-0 lead in the first set with two service aces and an attack error by Piorkowski. The Lions gained traction with two kills from Piorkowski and one from sophomore middle blocker Samuel Willinger to make it a one-point game at 10-9. The game went back and forth but eventually ended in Rivier winning 25-19.

The Lions opened the second set strong with a block from Piorkowski and Kittivatcharapong. The set remained close, but Piorkowski broke the 14-14 tie with a kill assisted by Raagas. The Lions held on to their lead and won the set 25-21, marking the first time Emerson won a set against Rivier since the 2015 season.

The Lions never led in the third set but managed to tie the game twice at 5-5 and 6-6. Piorkowski unintentionally assisted in an attack when the ball deflected off of the net and bounced off of his head to shorten Rivier’s lead to 18-14, but they lost 25-18.

The fourth set remained a back-and-forth contest, but Rivier pulled ahead to win 25-22 and finish the game 3-1. 

Read said the team improved on their mistakes from the Lasell game and played better against Rivier.

“It had been a long time since we took a set from [Rivier College]. We didn’t play our best but then we stepped it up, we reduced our service errors, we played defensively, played offensively, and set a decent block,” Read said. “It’s nice to see we can compete with everyone in our conference—we just don’t have the consistency from start to finish.”

The Lions will play next in a non-conference matchup at Johnson & Wales University on Tuesday, March 26 at 7 p.m.

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