Match One: Emerson 3, Regis (Mass.) 2 (25-18, 21-25, 16-25, 25-23, 15-4)
Match Two: Johnson & Wales (R.I.) 3, Emerson 0 (25-15, 25-20, 25-16)
Records: Emerson Lions (12-11, 5-9 GNAC) ; Regis (Mass.) Pride (8-11, 3-11) ; Johnson & Wales Wildcats (16-14, 8-5 GNAC)
Location: Weston, Mass. (Higgins Court)
Date: Saturday, April 7, 2018
The Lead: Junior Mark Piorkowski (Montclair, N.J.) contributed a combined 23 kills and four aces for the Emerson men's volleyball as the Lions wrapped their 2018 regular season campaign with a GNAC tri-match split with Regis (Mass.) and Johnson & Wales (R.I.) on Saturday afternoon. The Lions rallied to top the Pride, 3-2, in five sets to begin the day before squandering a three-set setback to the Wildcats in the second match.
MATCH ONE: Emerson 3, Regis (Mass.) 2
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Senior Nick Rusk (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) paced both teams with an overall match best 17 kills and Piorkowski followed with 11 of his own to go with four aces.
- On the defensive side for the Lions, freshman Marcus Cepeda (Sacramento, Calif.) racked up 39 assists while sophomore Carl D'Aguiar (Tujunga, Calif.) dished out 12 digs and both junior Win Kittivatcharapong (Bangkok, Thailand) and senior Stig Regan (Kailua, Hi.) had six blocks apiece.
- Leading Regis was Brett Kahl and Drew Biemel with Kahl registering 11 kills, two aces and four blocks and Biemel posting a double double of 10 kills and 12 digs.
- Jayson Vega rounded out the Pride's stat leaders with 38 assists.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The opening stanza started off with Regis jumping out to an 8-4 lead before a 8-1 Emerson spurt pushed the Lions ahead by three at 12-9 on a Kittivatcharaping swing.
- An Inelson Alves kill and Lions attack error closed the Pride within one at 13-12, but that was the closest the hosts would come to taking the lead away.
- Another Lions' surge late in the frame extended their lead to seven (22-15) and went on to take the set 25-18 on a kill by sophomore Diego Garcia (Honolulu, Hi.).
- After taking set one, Emerson found themselves down 2-1 after Regis grabbed wins in the second and third sets.
- The second set saw the Pride taking a one point lead in the midst of the set and later pushed the lead to 17-15 on kills from Krahl and Wade Robidoux before Robidoux registered the set winning block.
- Emerson never had a share of the lead within the third frame as Regis carried the advantage all through the set and came away with the 25-16 win despite the Lions staying within four through the end of the frame.
- The Lions held off two Pride rallies in the fourth set with two clutch kills coming from Rusk that counted for the 24th and 25th points to lift Emerson past Regis, 25-23, and force a fifth set.
- Emerson dished out the fifth frame's first eight points and rolled on to the 15-4 win.
MATCH TWO: Johnson & Wales 3, Emerson 0
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Piorkowski anchored the offense with 12 kills as sophomore Lucas Raagas (Cambridge, Mass.) passed out 19 assists, freshman Matt Connolly (Haverhill, Mass.) served one ace and D'Aguiar picked up 12 digs.
- Kanila Chang paced Johnson & Wales on both ends with 13 kills and eight digs with Cameron Pone dishing out 38 assists and Zach Turner serving a trio of aces along with five blocks.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Both teams traded off leads in the opening portion of the first set before the Wildcats took an 8-7 lead and pushed it to 12-7 on a 5-0 spurt.
- Emerson closed within three (13-10) on Piorkowski's kill, but Johnson & Wales tacked on the next six consecutive points to put their cushion at nine (19-10) before keeping the Lions within eight to take the first set (25-15).
- The closest Emerson came within Johnson & Wales within the second frame was three at 19-16 after Connolly served up an ace, but the Wildcats did not let up the lead and took the second set, 25-20.
- The Lions kept pace with the Wildcats throughout the first half of the final set at four before the Wildcats started to stretch their lead after a pair of kills and attack error pushed the score to 18-11.
- Back to back kills from Piorkowski kept Emerson within five (18-13) and were able to stay within five through the closing of the frame, yet Johnson & Wales tacked on the set's final four points to ice the 25-16 win.
STAY LIVE WITH THE LIONS