(Providence, RI) The Rivier University Men's Volleyball team, who are ranked #4 in the country, took a 3-0 decision over Johnson & Wales University in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference contest at the Wildcat Center on Wednesday evening.
Junior Chris Markuson (Cupertino, Calif.) paced Rivier with nine kills and four digs while senior Terence Matatall (Danville, N.H.) also had nine kills with a pair of blocks in the victory for the Raiders. Freshman Tyler Blank (Rochester, N.Y.) notched 35 assists, three kills and three digs for Rivier.
Johnson & Wales was led by senior Shawn Kennedy (West Barnstable, Mass.) with 11 kills and five digs while junior J.J. Bessette (Coventry, R.I.) tallied 26 set assists with four digs in the setback.
In the first set, the two teams traded leads early with JWU trailing just 9-8 after a kill by Kennedy. The Raiders then used a 10-3 run, capped by a kill by Matatall to take the 19-12 lead. Rivier held on for the 25-14 win in the first set with a .551 hitting percentage
Johnson & Wales held the lead throughout most of the second set and had the 15-14 advantage after they capitalized on a Rivier miscue. The visiting Raiders then used a 4-0 run and took the 18-15 advantage on a kill by junior Sam Kazlas (Allentown, Pa.). Rivier then took the 25-22 victory and the 2-0 lead in the match.
The final set saw another back and forth battle early before Rivier used a 7-2 run midway through the period, capped by a kill from Markuson for the 16-10 lead. The Riviers controlled the action down the stretch en route to the 25-17 win and the 3-0 victory in the match.
With the loss Johnson & Wales falls to 8-6 for the season and 2-2 in the GNAC while Rivier improves to 10-3 overall and 3-0 in league play. Rivier will return to action this weekend as they host GNAC foe Albertus Magnus College and cross-town school Daniel Webster College in a tri-match on Saturday.