(Nashua, N.H.) The top-seeded Rivier University Men's Volleyball team clinched a spot in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Tournament Championship game as they defeated visiting Emmanuel College, the tournament's fourth seed, 3-1 inside the friendly confines of the Muldoon Gymnasium. The Raiders are now 25-6 overall on the season while the Saints season ends at 15-16.
Rivier won the match by set scores of 24-26, 25-16, 25-16 and 25-17.
Senior Grant Andler (Chicago, Ill.) led the Raiders with a game-high 16 kills and a .500 hitting percentage to go along with his six total blocks. Junior Dashaun Graham (Highland Falls, N.Y.) added 11 kills and eight total blocks while sophomore David Smith (Clinton, Ohio) chipped in with 10 kills on the night. Senior setter Garrett Bucklin (Jamestown, R.I.) dished out 37 assists and scooped up 16 digs. Sophomore Cam Roth (Coventry, R.I.) was right behind Bucklin with 15 digs along the back line along with hammering down seven kills and recording a block solo.
Emmanuel was paced by junior Erik English (Simi Valley, Calif.), who contributed a team-high 13 kills, 14 digs and two total blocks. Classmate Kevin Orsley (San Jose, Calif.) registered a double-double of 10 kills and 10 digs with freshman Mike Kokoros (Braintree, Mass.) picking up 11 kills. Sophomore Manuel Velez (San Jose, Costa Rica) also played well defensively as he collected 10 digs in the loss.
The #1 Raiders will host #2 Wentworth Institute of Technology for the 2018 GNAC Men's Volleyball Championship on Saturday night. Game time is set for 7pm. This will be a rematch of the epic five-set 2016 GNAC Championship in which Wentworth won in Boston, Mass.