Story written and posted by Hayden Barbosa, Rivier University Assistant Sports Information Director
(Nashua, N.H.) Nationally ranked Rivier University swept Regis College, 3-0 (25-15, 25-13, 25-13), and dropped Johnson & Wales University, 3-1 (22-25, 25-13, 25-17, 25-22), Saturday in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference tri-match at Higgins Court.
Rivier, currently tied for 14th in this week's AVCA Division III Coaches Poll, scored the first two points of the match and then went on a 5-1 scoring run to open a four-point advantage. Later in the first set, the Raiders put together a 7-2 scoring run to extend their lead to 19-10, and then they closed out the opening set with a kill by freshman Sokunbuth Ly (Lowell, Mass.) and a Regis error.
In the second set, Rivier slowly established a 7-3 lead early in the set, and then the Raiders increased that advantage into double digits with a 10-3 scoring run, led by Ly and freshman Jack Normandin (Clifton Park, N.Y.) with three kills apiece. Normandin earned two kills and a solo block on consecutive points late in the set, and then Rivier clinched the second set on a kill by Junior John Equitani (Coventry, R.I.).
The Raiders scored four of the first five points of the third set, but the Pride closed to within one thanks in part to two kills by freshman Matt Ferrara (Haverhill, Mass.). Rivier would once again start to pull away thanks to a 5-1 scoring stretch, and then the Raiders took firm control with an 8-1 scoring run, starting with consecutive kills by Ly. Rivier closed out the set and the match by tallying four of the final five points, capped by two kills from Normandin.
Ly led the Raiders with 12 kills, earning those on 15 attack attempts without an error for an .800 hitting percentage, while Normandin went 10-for-12 on attack opportunities without a mistake for an .833 hitting percentage. As a team, Rivier committed just five attack errors to post a .590 hitting percentage, plus it collected nine team blocks, led by sophomore Ernesto Montes (Huntington Park, Cali.) with four block assists.