Story written and posted by Hayden Barbosa, Rivier University Assistant Sports Information Director
(Nashua, N.H.) The Raiders closed-out this historical regular season with a convincing victory over the Chargers of Colby Sawyer College. This season will be remembered as one of the most successful seasons in program history. Highlights include Coach Kolek becoming the fourth Head Coach in the history of Men's Volleyball to reach 500 wins while ranking No. 13 in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association Top-15 poll. His squad also dropped the No. 1 ranked, Springfield College on their home court back in February. This years squad has collected 13 weekly honors. Offensive Player of the Week: Kokoros, Yocca, Smith (3) Campos (4). Defensive Player of the Week: Roth (2). Rookie of the Week: Normandin and Ly.
Today Kolek decided to start sophomore Eric Roderick (Salem, N.H.), junior John Equitani (Coventry, R.I.), freshaman Kristjan Cortez (Fremont, Calif), junior Francis Kokoros (Braintree, Mass.), sophomore Ernesto Montes (Huntington Park, Calif) and freshman libero Jack Hromada (Burnt Hills, N.Y.).
It was this group that gave up only two early points in the first set. Which ended up being the lowest scoring set this season for the Chargers. One of the Chargers points was an attack error and the other a kill from junior Patrick Coffey (Westford, Mass.) off a set from freshman Orlando Plagata (Los Angeles, Calif.). After that, the Raiders stole the show.
In the same set Montes posted a game high with 4 service aces, while upperclassman Kyle Heidler (Hampstead, N.H.) earned 2. Others to contribute to the onslaught were, Cortez with 3 kills, Equitani and freshmen Sokunbuth Ly (Lowell, Mass.) with 2 kills and sophomore Andrew Panameno (Los Angeles, Calif.) with 1 kill. The first set ended 25-2 in the Raiders favor.
The next two set's scores were 25-11 and 25-16.
Equitani hit an impressive .615 after 10 kills on 13 attempts and Cortez posted a game high with 11 kills on 16 attempts hitting at .500. The freshman also contributed 3 aces and 6 digs. Totaling 14 points on the match.
Setters Eric Roderick posted 2 kills hitting .250 and handed out 13 assists and scooped up 4 digs, while Panameno tallied 12 assists and 2 digs.
This win concludes the 2019 regular season schedule. The Raiders (23-7 overall, 14-0 GNAC) finished in the No. 1 seed which earns them a bye in the first round. The winner of game 2 between #4 Emmanuel College and #5 Lasell College will face the Raiders in the Muldoon Gymnasium on Thursday at 7PM.