(Nashua, N.H.) The Rivier University Men's Volleyball team honored their graduating seniors tonight as they rolled past visiting Johnson and Wales University, 3-0 in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference contest held inside the Muldoon Gymnasium. The Raiders improve to 21-6 overall and remain unblemished with a 12-0 conference record. The Wildcats, meanwhile, fall to 14-14 and 6-5 GNAC.
Prior to the start of the contest, the Rivier Volleyball family bid adieu to seniors Grant Andler (Chicago, Ill.), Garrett Bucklin (Jamestown, R.I.), Matt Heckler (Simi Valley, Calif.), Kyle Heidler (Hampstead, N.H.) and junior Nathan Kunkel (Plum Borough, Pa.), who will be graduating next December. This graduating class has complied an impressive 45-9 record against conference competition and an overall record of 82-40, including two trips to the GNAC Championship game, making them one of the most successful classes in Raider Volleyball history.
Rivier took the three set match by scores of 25-13, 25-11 and 25-22.
Andler powered the Raiders offense this evening with nine kills while junior Khaynen Yocca (Pittsburgh, Pa.) matched Andler with nine kills but recorded a .900 hitting percentage. Sophomore David Smith (Clinton, Ohio) hammered down seven kills and Heckler added four kills & a .800 hitting percentage in his final regular season home game. Bucklin directed the offense with 32 assists and scooped up five digs. Also registering five digs were sophomore Cam Roth (Coventry, R.I.) and junior Dahnny Rogers (Penfield, N.Y.). Junior Dashaun Graham (Highland Falls, N.Y.) added four total blocks with Knukel contributing a kill and a dig for Rivier.
Johnson and Wales was led by Nick Bitetto's seven kills and also received a four-kill night from Zach Turner. Cameron Ponce handed out 14 assists while picking up six digs and four total blocks to pace the Wildcats.
Rivier will finish out the regular season on the road before hosting a GNAC Tournament game next week. It will be a quick turnaround time as the Raiders travel to Boston, Mass. tomorrow night for a matchup at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Game time between the two programs who are receiving votes for the AVCA Top-15 is slated for 7pm.
Johnson and Wales will host Emmanuel College on Thursday night beginning at 7pm in their next scheduled contest.