(Nashua, New Hampshire) For the seventh consecutive season, the Rivier University Men's Volleyball team earned the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Tournament Championship after defeating third ranked Emmanuel College, 3-1. The Raiders will now move on to the NCAA Tournament with a 29-6 overall record. Emmanuel finishes the 2014 campaign with an 18-12 overall record.
Rivier junior Chris Markuson (Cupertino, California) was named the Tournament MVP as he laced 14 kills and recorded a .423 hitting percentage on the afternoon. Freshman Tyler Blank (Rochester, NY) registered 45 assists to go along with 10 digs and senior Daniel Elitharp (Eastport, NY) totaled four digs as both were named to the All-Tournament Team. Senior Terence Matatall (Danville, NH) knocked down 9 kills as did junior Shane Spellman (Norwich, Conn.). Senior Aaron Almario (Alhambria, California) recorded 5 total blocks and 8 kills in the four set win. Senior Matt Bynon (Burnt Hills, NY) was his stellar self with 12 digs along the back line and sophomore Nick Ochoa (Whittier, California) had 9 digs. Junior Sam Kazlas (Allentown, PA) added 8 kills and a .316 hitting percentage in the Championship win.
Emmanuel was led by Zach Whitermore and Ashanti Jackson, who combined for 23 of the team's 42 kills on the afternoon. Whitermore was the team leader with 13 kills and 8 digs. Jackson finished with 10 kills and five digs. Sean Baxley registered 35 assists and Ernie Gurule led the game with 17 digs.
The Raiders will find out who their next opponent will be when the NCAA selection show airs at 10am EST on April 14th. The 2014 NCAA Men's Volleyball Division III Tournament is being held at the Kennedy Sports Center in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania from April 25-27.