* Story courtesy of Wentworth Athletic Communications
(Boston, Mass.) Sophomore David Smith (Clinton, Ohio) recorded 17 kills and hit .600 (17-2-25) to help pace the Rivier University men's volleyball team to a 3-0 win over 11th-ranked Wentworth Institute of Technology in Great Northeast Athletic Conference action Thursday night.
With the win the Raiders improve to 7-5 overall and 2-0 in league play while the Leopards fall to 5-3 (0-1).
After the teams exchanged points to open the match, Wentworth used a 6-1 run and took a 7-2 lead on a service ace from senior Collin Ritter (Feeding Hills, Mass.). A service error gave Rivier the point and the serve, however, the Leopards used a 4-1 spurt, capped off by a kill from senior Ollie Oshman (Pennington, N.J.) to take an 11-4 lead. The Raiders cut the lead to 13-9 on a kill from junior Dashaun Graham (Highland Falls, N.Y.) and pulled within three (14-11) on back-to-back kills from Smith. The Black & Gold upped their lead to five on a pair of occasions, however, the visitors used four straight points to come within one (19-18) on a block from Graham. Back-to-back Ritter kills made it 21-18 before a service error, an ace from Roth, and a kill from Smith tied the set at 21-all. Sophomore Ryan Engel (Floral Park, N.Y.) put down a kill to give the hosts a 22-21 lead but Rivier responded with kills from Graham and Smith to take a 23-22 lead. Oshman recorded a kill to even the score at 23-all, however, the Raiders used a kill from Smith and a Leopard attack error to win the opening frame, 25-23. Smith had eight kills on 11 swings without making an error (.727) in the set while Oshman's four kills led Wentworth. Rivier hit .517 in the set.
Rivier took a 4-1 lead to open the second set and led, 8-5, after a kill from senior Grant Andler (Chicago, Ill.). Kills from junior Jesse Lefler (Rochester, N.Y.) and senior Jon Roat (Rochester, N.Y.) pulled the hosts to within a point. Using a 6-1 run, capped off by an ace from Roth, the Raiders took a 14-8 lead. The Leopards scored the next four points, which were capped off by a pair of block assists from Oshman and Ritter, and pulled within two (14-12). After a kill from Graham made it 15-12, Ritter put down a kill and served an ace to pull the Black & Gold within one (15-14). Rivier led by three on a pair of occasions before a kill from Roat made it 20-18. However, the Raiders took a 2-1 lead, closing out the set on a 5-1 run to win, 25-19. Graham, Smith, and Andler had four kills apiece for the visitors – who hit .517 in the second set – In the frame, while Roat, Oshman, and Ritter each had four kills for the Black & Gold. Roat eclipsed the 1,000-point plateau, becoming the seventh player in program history to do so.
The teams traded points six times in the third set before a kill from Oshman and an ace by Ritter gave Wentworth an 8-6 lead. Five straight Rivier points gave the visitors an 11-8 lead after a Smith kill. Out of a timeout, the Raiders pushed the lead to 12-8 on a ball handling error before back-to-back errors made it 12-10. Rivier increased its lead to 16-12 after a Wentworth attack error and led 19-14 on an Andler kill. Scoring four of the next six points, the Leopards pulled to within three (21-18) and again at 22-19. Kills from junior Khayen Yocca (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Smith made it 24-19. Roat made it 24-20 with a kill, however, Andler ended the match with a kill. Rivier hit .500 in the set, led by Smith's five kills on eight swings without an error (.625). Roat hit .667 (6-0-9) in the frame while Ritter added four kills.
In addition to his 17 kills, Smith also had eight digs. Graham added nine kills and four blocks, while Roth had seven kills and two aces. Senior Garrett Bucklin (Jamestown, R.I.) had 44 assists and added three blocks.
Roat finished with 13 kills while Ritter added 11 kills, four aces, and 16 assists. Oshman had nine kills and four blocks, while sophomore Augusto Rodriguez-Guerrios (Guaynabo, P.R.) had 21 assists.
Rivier hosts Wells College and Pine Manor College on Saturday morning while Wentworth hosts Emmanuel and Eastern Nazarene in a tri-match on Saturday.