(Beverly, Mass.) The Rivier University Men's Volleyball began their 2014 Spring Break with a pair of wins at the annual March Mania Invitational hosted by Endicott College this past weekend. Rivier began the Invite with a 3-0 win over the Sage Colleges on Friday night before partaking in two games against Ramapo and Endicott on Saturday. In the game against Ramapo, the Raiders were pushed to the limit and eventually fell in the fifth set by a score of 15-13. They quickly rebounded however as they quickly dispatched Endicott College, 3-0 to finish the Invitational.
Game One: Rivier University 3, The Sage Colleges 0 (Final)
Rivier took the opening match of the Invitational with a 3-0 win over the Sage Colleges by scores of 25-10, 25-13 and 25-13.
Senior Terence Matatall (Danville, NH) recorded 7 kills with a .455 hitting percentage while classmate Aaron Almario (Alhambria, California) added a .500 hitting percentage on 5 kills in the win. The Tutino brothers (juniors Matt Tutino & Brendan Tutino) combined for 9 kills and sophomore Mike Hadder (Yucaipa, California) contributed three kills for the Raiders. Freshman Tyler Blank (Rochester, NY) had just six assists while classmate Matthew Ortiz (Los Angeles, California) was the team leader with 9 assists. Sophomore Mike Hovnanian (Methuen, Mass.) recorded 9 digs and freshman Mark Villarroel (Los Angeles, California) chipped in with 5 digs to help bolster the defensive effort.
Game Two: Ramapo College 3, Rivier University 2 (Final)
In the game of the Invitational, the Raiders were able to take a 2-1 lead after three before falling in the final two sets by a total of 4 points.
Almario recorded a monstrous 17 kills and .483 hitting percentage and Matatall added 13 kills in the loss for Rivier. Junior Chris Markuson (Cupertino, California) contributed 10 kills and both junior Shane Spellman (Norwich, Conn.) and Sam Kazlas (Allentown, Penn.) each had 7 kills to account for all of the offense. Blank was outstanding as he had 51 assists and the libero combination of senior Matt Bynon (Burnt Hills, NY) and sophomore Nick Ochoa (Whittier, California) recorded 23 digs – 13 and 10 respectively. Markuson added 10 digs and Blank provided 9 on the defensive side of the ball.
Game Three: Rivier University 3, Endicott College 1 (Final)
The Raiders finished the invitational with a 3-1 win over the hosts Endicott College by scores of 25-20, 27-25, 23-25 and 25-13.
Once again Matatall led the way as he laced 13 kills and a .438 hitting percentage to go along with his three total blocks. Markuson had a solid second game as he provided 12 kills and 10 digs while Kazlas added 8 kills and four total blocks. Blank was majestic with 43 assists and 8 digs. Bynon led the defensive effort with 13 digs.
The Raiders will travel across the country as they are set to take on the University of California – Santa Cruz and Endicott College in the Slug Slam Invitational on March 14th and 15th. This will be the first time that any of the California natives will play a collegiate game in their home state.