Burns, Ulacco Lead Men's Volleyball to First Win

Burns, Ulacco Lead Men's Volleyball to First Win

NEWTON, Mass. – Lesley University sophomore Tyler Burns (Newtown, Pa.) slammed home a career-high 25 kills to power the Lynx to a 3-2 (21-25, 24-26, 25-23, 25-17, 15-12) comeback victory over Pratt Institute this afternoon on the campus of Mount Ida College in a tri-match with the Cannonners and the Mustangs. The Lynx moved to 1-11 on the season with the win over Pratt and a 3-0 (25-14, 25-18, 25-20) loss to Mount Ida.

After narrowly dropping the opening two sets, the Lynx stormed back to sweep the next three for the win. Lesley jumped ahead 14-10 in the third following a kill by junior Chris Barletta (Valrico, Fla.) and later led 20-16 after two Pratt errors. After the pair of faults, the Cannoneers mounted a 6-1 run to pull ahead 22-21 and seemed primed to sweep the match, 3-0. Burns and the Lynx had different plans, however, as the junior buried a pair of kills to put the Lynx back in the lead before Pratt evened things at 23-23 for a Lesley error. Barletta answered with another timely kill before the Lynx closed out the set 25-23 on a Pratt attacking error.

The Lynx continued their momentum and were in total control as they stormed to the 25-17 fourth set win. Junior Jess Cherry (Lancaster, Pa.) – who also notched a new career-best with 11 kills on the day – connected for an ace to give the Lesley a 14-9 edge before the Lynx went on to score six of the next ten points and extend their lead to 20-14. Barletta and Cherry each registered five kills in the set while Burns and sophomore Jacob DiDomenico (N. Providence, R.I.) combined for seven.

Lesley needed another comeback in the fifth and deciding set, as Pratt raced out to a 7-3 lead. The Lynx answered and took back control with a ferocious 7-0 run to stake a 10-7 edge before Cherry ended the match with his fourth ace of the day.

Sophomore setter Mitchel Ulacco (Winchester, Mass.) broke the Lesley program record with his 51 assists in the match. Burns added a season-best 12 digs, two solo blocks and five block assists to his line on the day while DiDomenico knocked down a career-best ten kills to go with one solo block while compiling ten blocking assists. Cherry added 12 digs to his 11 kills while Barletta finished with a personal-best nine kills. Junior C. Jay Sutton (Billerica, Mass.) paced the Lynx and set a new career mark of his own with 16 digs.

The win is Lesley's first since a 3-2 triumph over Regis College on March 22, 2012 as they improve to 1-11 in 2014.

In the first match of the day, Mount Ida (5-11) collected their second victory over Lesley this year, following up a 3-1 victory on January 29th in Cambridge with a sweep of the Lynx at Mount Ida Athletic Center. 

The Mustangs started the match strong with a 25-14 victory in the first set, then took a 10-0 lead en route to a 25-18 second set win. The Lynx, after falling behind 17-10 in the third set, went on a 5-0 run to pull within two points, but Mount Ida did enough to hold on for the 25-20 victory. 

Lesley was paced by five kills Burns and 11 assists from Ulacco while Cherry led the way defensively for the Lynx with nine digs, and he and Burns each served one of Lesley's two aces. 

Lesley (1-11) dips back into their New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) schedule on Tuesday night when they travel to Daniel Webster at 7:00p.