Pride Comeback Falls Short at Emerson

Pride Comeback Falls Short at Emerson

BOSTON – After losing the first two sets, Regis College won the third set and rallied to create an opportunity to extend the match further, but Emerson College pulled out the fourth set to win, 3-1 (25-12, 25-20, 20-25, 27-25), Friday night in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference men's volleyball match at Brown & Plofker Gym.

Inelson Alves (Brockton, Mass.) led the Pride with a season-high 11 kills on a .381 hitting percentage, while Kostea Andreenko (Marstons Mills, Mass.) finished with nine kills, two service aces, and six total blocks. Sebastian Valdes (Diamond Bar, Calif.) collected 18 assists during the third and fourth sets, and Drew Beimel (Redondo Beach, Calif.) contributed seven kills, a team-high nine digs, and four total blocks.

Emerson (7-2, 1-1 GNAC) scored the first three points of the match and established a 7-2 advantage early in the opening set. After a service ace by Beimel closed the Pride deficit to 9-7, the Lions put together a 9-2 scoring run, led by Mark Piorkowski with two kills. Emerson closed out the first set with a 7-1 scoring run, featuring consecutive kills by Samuel Willinger and a service ace by Matt Connolly.

The Lions scored four of the first five points of the second set, including two kills by Piorkowski, but Regis stayed close, pulling within two at 7-5 on a kill by Alves. Led by Connolly with a service ace and back-to-back kills, the Lions scored four unanswered points to extend their lead to 11-5. The Pride came as close as three points down late in the set, but consecutive kills by Piorkowski clinched the second set for the Lions.

Regis took a 4-2 lead early in the third set, featuring two kills by Alves, but the Lions struck back with a 7-1 scoring run to open a 10-6 advantage. Down 15-11 after a kill by Josh Elliot, the Pride scored eight straight points, led by Andreenko with three total blocks and an assist. Regis would eventually take advantage of three Emerson errors to win the third set and extend the contest.

Led by two kills and a block assist by Win Kittivatcharapong, Emerson ran out to a four-point lead early in the fourth set. After a kill by Piorkowski extended the Lion advantage to 14-7, Regis once again battled back, scoring six straight points, including a solo block and a kill by Andreenko, to close its deficit to one at 14-13.

The Lions maintained their slim lead until a service ace by Shane Phillip (Brockton, Mass.) tied the set at 21-21. A kill by Piorkowski and a Pride error brought about match point, but Emerson missed on its next serve. Alves and Andreenko combined on a block, and a bad set by the Lions gave the Pride a chance to tie the match. However, Piorkowski earned a kill, Connolly picked up a solo block, and the Emerson defense forced an attack error to give the home team the set and the match.

Piorkowski notched a double-double with 24 kills and 10 digs, while Willinger earned 11 kills on a .529 hitting percentage and Kittivatcharapong added 10 kills and five block assists. The setting duties were split between Lucas Raagas (26 assists) and Elliot (25 assists), with Elliot also picking up six kills, and Connolly contributed six kills, five service aces, and three total blocks.

Regis (5-7, 0-3 GNAC) concludes its conference road swing Wednesday, Feb. 27, at Colby-Sawyer beginning at 7 p.m. The Pride defeated the Chargers Feb. 9 in a non-conference neutral site contest in Franklin, Mass., 3-0.