WESTON, Mass. – In a contest with 51 ties and 19 lead changes, Regis College rallied from a two sets to one match deficit to defeat Emerson College, 3-2 (25-18, 23-25, 23-25, 28-26, 15-13), Tuesday night in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference men's volleyball match at Higgins Court.
Matt Ferrara (Haverhill, Mass.) tied his season high with a team-leading 18 kills, plus he earned two service aces. Honored in a Senior Night presentation before the match, Drew Beimel (Redondo Beach, Calif.) finished with a season-high 15 kills, just one off his career high, as well as two service aces and four total blocks in his final regular season home contest.
After losing the second and third sets by identical 25-23 scores, Regis opened a 6-2 lead in the fourth set on consecutive blocks by Gueincy Clodomir (Pembroke Park, Fla.) and Kostea Andreenko (Marstons Mills, Mass.). The Lions would eventually tie the set on a kill by Mark Piorkowski, and then the two squads exchanged the next 10 points.
Kills by Fernando Gomez (San Juan, Puerto Rico) and Ferrara wrapped around a Beimel service ace allowed the Pride to retake the lead at 18-15, but Emerson struck back with four unanswered points, capped by a service ace by Jonah Higaonna, to pull ahead at 20-19.
Emerson (10-11, 2-9 GNAC) had a chance to clinch the set and the match at 24-23, but a kill by Beimel and a service ace from Shane Phillip (Brockton, Mass.) put the Pride on top, 25-24. The Lions prevented Regis from winning the fourth set twice before the Pride finally closed out the set on a kill by Ferrara and a Lion attack error.
The teams split the first 10 points of the fifth set before Regis rattled off four straight points to take a 9-5 lead. The Lions quickly responded as Piorkowski earned three straight kills and Samuel Willinger added a kill to tie the set at 10-10. After another Piorkowski kill created a tie at 12-12, Regis brought about match point on a kill by Andreenko, and then, after a kill by Piorkowski extended the set, Clodomir pounced on an overpass for the match-clinching kill.
Piorkowski led the Lions with 23 kills, including the 1,000th kill of his career, as well as 13 digs for a double-double, while Willinger finished with 18 kills, seven digs, and three total blocks. Lucas Raagas took over setting duties in the second set and ended up with 38 assists, and libero Jacob DiTore added 12 digs to the Lion effort.
After Emerson won the first point of the match, Regis scored the next four points, led by Andreenko with two kills. The Lions battled back with a 7-2 scoring run, led by Willinger with three kills and a service ace, and then another kill by Willinger gave Emerson a 14-12 advantage. The Pride then took control of the opening set, closing it out with a 13-4 scoring run, capped by consecutive service aces by Gomez.
There were 13 ties and six lead changes in the second set alone, but Emerson was able to pull it out thanks to consecutive kills by Piorkowski. In the third set, after the Pride scored five straight points to pull into a 15-15 tie, the Lions retook the lead and held on, earning the set win on a kill by Piorkowski.
Andreenko, playing for the first time after missing the previous five matches, ended up with 10 kills and four total blocks. Brendan Lam (Rockville, Md.) collected 25 assists before Sebastian Valdes (Diamond Bar, Calif.) took over the setting duties midway through the third set and accumulated 29 assists. Zabdiel Frias (Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico) led the Pride defense with 20 digs, one off the program single-match record.
With the victory, the Pride stay alive for the sixth and final spot in the GNAC Tournament, splitting the season series with Emerson. The Lions finish the regular season with a home match against Johnson & Wales, a road contest at nationally-ranked Rivier, and a neutral site match against Colby-Sawyer.
Regis (10-13, 3-9 GNAC) close out the regular season with road matches at Lasell Thursday, April 4, at 7 p.m., and at Wentworth Saturday, April 6, at 11 a.m.