(Newton, Mass.) The #4 Rivier University Men's Volleyball team cruised to a 3-0 win over Mount Ida College on Thursday night as they took the three sets by scores of 25-13, 25-19 and 25-22 in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) action. Rivier improves to 11-3 overall and 4-0 in the GNAC while Mount Ida falls to 5-8 overall and now have a 0-2 mark in the conference.
Led by junior Matt Tutino (Manorville, N.Y.), who racked up 11 kills without an error (.786 hitting percentage), Rivier registered 42 kills in the match, hitting .411, including .562 in the first set, which they seized control of by scoring five straight and eleven of the first fifteen points. They opened up their biggest lead, 19-8 and sealed the victory on a kill by senior Daniel Elitharp (Eastport, N.Y.), who had eight in the contest.
Senior Nick Schibi (Torrington, Conn.) led Mount Ida with eight kills, while sophomore James Ames (West Hartford, Conn.) turned in a five kill, five dig performance, while recording one of the Mustang's three service aces.
The second set was a tighter affair, with Mount Ida forcing six ties of the game and hitting .296, for their best attacking game of the night. Knotted at 13 apiece, Rivier got kills from Tutino and Matthew Ortiz (Los Angeles, Calif.) and a service ace from Ian Wolski (Westfield, Mass.), one of six for the Raiders in the game, to spark a 6-0 run. Elitharp converted two kills and Mike Hadder (Yucalpa, Calif.) finished the game off with a point of his own for the 25-19 score.
The Mustangs used a kill by Schibi to jump out to a 3-0 lead in the third set, though Rivier would pull back into the lead with scores of 7-5 and 14-10. A 4-0 run allowed Mount Ida to tie the game at 17, and the Mustangs continued to fight back points to tie the game, not getting their noses in front until a rotation error by the Raiders gave them a 23-22 advantage.
Looking to force a fourth set, the Mustangs surrendered the serve on an error by Brady Rodriguez (Longwood, Fla.), then saw Hadder serve an ace and Kegan Moody (Cranston, R.I.) convert a kill to end the game.
Michael McCullough (Soutborough, Mass.) set up 12 points for Mount Ida, while Rodriguez had nine assists to go with six kills.
The Raiders split setting duties as well, with freshman Matt LaSance (Madison, Conn.) collecting 16 assists and Ortiz adding 12 assists. Elitharp had a team-high nine digs and hit .800, making no errors on ten attempts.
Rivier returns home for a tri-match this weekend, when they will host GNAC rival Albertus Magnus and non-conference foe Daniel Webster. Mount Ida will host a tri-match this Saturday at Mount Ida Athletic Center, welcoming in Lehman College and Newbury College.