(Newton, Mass.) The Rivier University Men's Volleyball team, who is currently ranked #12 in the country this afternoon in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association Top-15 poll, took care of business on the road against Mount Ida College this evening earning the 3-0 (25-12, 25-21, 25-17) Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) win. Rivier improves to 10-6 overall on the season and 2-1 in the conference while the Mustangs fall to 8-7 and 0-2 in the GNAC.
Freshman David Smith (Clinton, Ohio) paced the Raider offense with 10 kills and Mount Ida sophomore Brett Southworth (Orange, Conn.) led all student-athletes with 11 kills.
Rivier freshman Danny Sciolaro (Wayne, N.J.) and Mustang sophomore Nathan Sprengle (Williamstown, N.J.) each put up 21 assists for their respective squads.
The Raiders hit .439 as a team and raced out to a 15-2 lead right from the opening serve, on their way to a one set lead with a 25-12 performance in the opening set.
Mount Ida found their footing in the second set and threatened to tie the match up, leading at 14-13, 15-14, and 16-15.
With the game tied at 17, kills by freshman John Equitani (Coventry, R.I.) and classmate Francis Kokoros (Braintree, Mass.) started a 3-0 spurt that led the Raiders to a slim lead. The teams traded the next seven points, but Rivier held off Mount Ida with the last two points sealing the match.
A 4-0 run in the third set, bookended by kills from Smith and sophomore Dashaun Graham (Highland Falls, N.Y.) extended a three-point Rivier lead to a 22-15 advantage, and two kills by sophomore Nathan Kunkel (Plum Borough, Pa.) helped to close out the Mustangs.
Peter Griffenkranz (Deer Park, N.Y.) added six kills and a service ace, along with a game-high six digs in the loss.
Graham was a problem at the net, recording three solo blocks and five block assists for Rivier, as the Raiders had ten stuffs of Mount Ida attacks.
Rivier will start March with a trip to the Midwest, starting Friday afternoon when they play at Milwaukee School of Engineering at 3:00 PM.
The Mustangs travel to Albertus Magnus at 7:00 PM this Thursday evening, then play a tri-match at Newbury on Saturday before taking their spring vacation.