(Nashua, N.H.) The Rivier University Men's Volleyball team began their quest for a return trip to the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championship game this evening as they defeated visiting Johnson and Wales University, 3-0 in the team's first GNAC contest of the season. The Raiders, who were ranked #13 overall in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association National Poll, are now 4-5 overall and 1-0 in the conference while the Wildcats fall to 7-8 and 1-2 in the GNAC.
Rivier was victories by set scores of 25-20, 25-17 and 25-21.
Junior outside hitter Grant Andler (Chicago, Ill.) led the offensive output for the Raiders as he hammered down a team-high 14 kills and a .417 hitting percentage. Senior Ian Wolksi (Westfield, Mass.) was right behind Andler with 13 kills (.385 hitting percentage) while sophomore Khayen Yocca (Pittsburgh, Pa.) finished with seven kills. Senior Matt LaSance (Madison, Conn.) directed the offense to a .360 team hitting percentage with 44 assists and junior Garrett Bucklin (Jamestown, R.I.) controlled the back line with nine digs.
The Wildcats were led by junior outside hitter Kanila Chang's (Orlando, Fla.) 12 kills and his .417 hitting percentage with sophomore setter Cameron Ponce (San Jose, Calif.) dishing out 24 assists and totaling two blocks. Sophomore libero Alex Seda (San Juan, P.R.) was the dig leader with nine for Johnson & Wales.
Next up for the Raiders will be a rematch with #7 Kean University on Saturday morning as they play in the day's first game of a tri-match – Regis College will also be visiting the 'Doon. Rivier swept the three set match from Kean back on January 27 in New Jersey. Johnson & Wales will return to action on Saturday as well with a tri-match at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston.