CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – After dropping the opening set, the Anna Maria men's volleyball team stormed back to take three straight and defeat Lesley University 3-1 (18-25, 27-25, 25-13, 25-12) in non-conference play tonight at Buckingham, Browne, and Nichols. The win marks the first in AMCAT program history as they improve to 1-3 in their inaugural season.
Freshman Peter Griffenkranz (Deer Park, N.Y.) led the visitors attack with a team-high 12 kills while leading all players with four serving aces. Senior Jonathan Gallardo (Marlborough, Mass.) and freshman Dylan Copeland (Haverhill, Mass.) finished with nine kills apiece while freshman setter Michael Gaudelli (Hicksville, N.Y.) dished out a match-high 33 assists to go with his team-high 14 digs.
Freshman Tyler Burns (Newtown, Pa.) registered a career-high 15 kills and nine digs to pace the Lynx. Senior Makenzie Lukas (Reno, Nev.) also finished with a new career-mark, knocking down seven kills while tying his career-best with ten digs. Sophomore C.J. Sutton (Billerica, Mass.) topped his individual all-time record with 15 digs while freshman Mitchel Ulacco (Winchester, Mass.) dished out 26 assists, also a career-high.
Tied at 15-15 in the first set, Burns and Lukas would each knock down two kills to anchor a Lesley 6-0 run to take a 21-15 lead. The AMCATS would answer with a 3-1 spurt to cut the edge back down to four, but the Lynx would score the final three points of the match to hang on for the 25-18 first set win. Burns led all players in the opening set with five kills while Lukas knocked down three. Both teams struggled from the floor as AMC finished with a -.048 hitting percentage while Lesley managed just a .000 percentage. Lesley's win marks the first time since 2012 in which the program has won a set.
Holding a 19-17 lead late in the second set, the visitors would receive two Griffenkranz kills to spark a 5-1 advantage to bring their lead to 24-18. Following an AMC error, the Lynx would follow Burns' serve as they rattled off six straight to tie the set up at 24-24. A Lesley serving error would break up the momentum and the AMCATS would score two of the next three to tie of the match at 1-1 with a 27-25 second set victory. Copeland buried five of his nine kills during the set to pace the AMCAT attack.
AMC would take control in the third set by jumping out to a 6-1 lead before closing it on a 9-3 run in a 25-13 set win. Griffenkranz connected for five of his kills in the set while the Lynx struggled to get their offense going, hitting a match-low -.152 from the floor.
Anna Maria would continue their momentum in the fourth and final set, rolling to another 25-13 victory. Holding a five point advantage at 15-10, the visitors finished strong by scoring eight in a row and ten of the thirteen points to register the first win in program history. Gallardo anchored the 8-0 run with three of his nine kills during the streak, while he finished with four in the set. AMC collectively hit a game-high .273 from the floor in the fourth set.
Lesley will return to the floor on Saturday, March 1st when they travel to Southern Vermont College for a tri-match with the Mountaineers and the Community College of Rhode Island. Anna Maria will continue their six-game road stretch when they travel to GNAC foe Emerson College on Thursday, February 27th for a 7:00p match.