Men's Volleyball Drops NECC Opener at Newbury

BROOKLINE, Mass. – Newbury College hit an outstanding .388 as a team to take a 3-0 victory over the Lynx tonight in the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) men's volleyball opener at Hellenic College. Junior outside hitter Chi Yin Li (Framingham, Mass.) came one kill shy of a double-double tallying match-high nine kills to go along with 10 defensive digs in the winning effort. 

Newbury set the tone of the match early as they jumped out to the 1-0 advantage claiming the first set, 25-9. Li was on fire from the floor in game one, posting a .714 attack percentage with six kills on seven attempts with just one miscue. Late in the set, first year right side hitter Stephen Watson (Marina, Calif.) ignited a 10-3 run, which included three straight service aces from senior setter Pat Robidoux (Barrington, R.I.), with a kill to seal the game one.

Senior outside hitter Jake Powell (Salinas, Calif.) helped the Nighthawks jump out to a 4-0 lead early in the second set before Lesley first year Tyler Burns (Newtown, Pa.) broke up the run with a kill to put the Lynx on the scoreboard. The Nighthawks were in control for most of set two behind Powell's four kills and outstanding .429 hitting percentage but the Lynx tried to battled back valiantly.

Junior setter Melvin Morales (Chelsea, Mass.) was flawless from the floor in game two, hitting .333 with a team-high three kills while senior outside hitter Aqib Shah (Watertown, Mass.) recorded three digs. But it was not enough as Robidoux and first year middle blocker Billy Stephen (Windermere, Fla.) ended the second set with a block to claim the second set, 25-12.

Morales led the Lynx with four kills on the night while Shah backed his senior classmate up with three of his own to go with his four digs. Sophomore C.J. Sutton (Billerica, Mass.) led Lesley on the defensive end, registering a team-high six digs. 

With a 2-0 match advantage, the Nighthawk offense did not ease up as they hit a staggering .533 as a team in the third set with nine kills on 15 attempts with just one error. Watson and fellow first year, middle blocker Nile Fox (Hampton, Va.) were perfect in set, registering 1.000 attack percentage with two and three kills, respectively, to power Newbury to the 25-8 victory.

Newbury opens conference action at 1-0 and improve to 1-9 on overall while Lesley drop to 0-5 and begins NECC action at 0-1. The Nighthawks return to the court on Thursday February 13th when they travel to Paxton, Mass. for a 7:00 p.m. tilt against Anna Maria College. The Lynx will be back in action on Saturday February 15th when they host NECC foe Elms College at 6:00 p.m. in Cambridge, Mass.