Story written and posted by Anthony Perry, Rivier University Sports Information Director
(Boston, Mass.) 23rd year Rivier University Men's Volleyball Head Coach Craig Kolek reached a significant milestone tonight as the 2019 version of the Men's Volleyball team defeated Emmanuel College, 3-0 to improve to 21-7 overall and a perfect 12-0 in Great Northeast Athletic Conference play. The win gave Coach Kolek his 500th career win as the Head Coach of the Men's Volleyball program.
The 13th ranked Raiders, in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association Top-15 poll, highlighted the historic mark by sweeping the longtime conference foes by set scores of 25-21, 25-19 and 25-23. With the victory, Coach Kolek becomes the fourth Head Coach in the history of Men's Volleyball to reach the 500 win mark. He joins Pete Hanson (Ohio St., 702 wins), Patrick Dorywalski (Stevens, 589 wins) and Mark Pavlik (Penn St., 558 wins) to hit the major milestone across all three divisions of the NCAA and is the second NCAA Division III Men's Volleyball coach to reach 500 (Dorywalski).
For the game, the Raiders showed a balanced offensive attack with junior David Smith (Clinton, Ohio) leading the charge with nine kills. Both senior Khaynen Yocca (Pittsburg, Pa.) and freshman Jack Normandin (Clifton Park, N.Y.) contributed with eight kills with Yocca swinging at a .368 clip. Junior setter Pedro Campos (Downey, Calif.) dished out 31 assists on the historic evening while also patrolling the back line, leading the team with eight digs and recording five total blocks. Junior Cam Roth (Coventry, R.I.) also shined bright defensively with seven digs and senior Dashaun Graham (Highland Falls, N.Y.) totaled six blocks in the win.
Emmanuel saw Erik English record the game-high with 13 kills and Justyn Schueler finish with 10 kills as they were the only two student-athletes to reach double-figures. Seamus McDonagh complied the game high of 35 assists with Max Gottuso scooping up 10 digs for the Saints.
Rivier will close the 2019 regular season on Saturday afternoon as they host both Emerson College and Colby-Sawyer College for the final GNAC tri-match of the year. It will also be senior day at the Muldoon as the program honors the two seniors – Graham and Yocca – for their time spent in Raider Blue. Game one is set for 11am against Emerson.