CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – The Lesley University men's volleyball team dropped two matches against non-conference Pine Manor College, Saturday afternoon. However, the young Lynx team continued to show marked improvement led by veteran, senior outside hitter Jason Hulteen (Galena, Ohio), who powered the offense with a team-high 11 kills.
Match 1: Pine Manor 3, Lesley 0
In the first match of the afternoon, the Gators wasted little time jumping out to the quick 1-0 advantage, hitting an outstanding .450 as a team to take the first set by a commanding 25-8 score. First year outside hitter Dion Johnson (Las Vegas, Nev.) was nearly perfect, leading the Gators tallying four kills on six attempts for a staggering .667 attack percentage.
Pine Manor continued to show offensive prowess in the second set as first year middle blocker Josh Williams (Hartford, Conn.) was one of three players to record two kills to edge out the Lynx 25-17. But the Lynx were resilient. The duo of Hulteen and senior middle hitter Jacob DiDomenico (North Providence, R.I.) each notched two kills of their own while sophomore outside hitter Daniel Flanagan (Wellesley, Mass.) recorded his first career block.
Despite being down two games, the Lynx continued to fight their way back in a highly contested third set. First year outside hitter Patrick Corcoran (West Hartford, Conn.) went up for a block with DiDomenico midway through the set to record his first collegiate career block. But the Gators were able to withstand the late charge by the Lynx and hold on to take the final set by a score of 25-22.
Match 2: Pine Manor 3, Lesley 0
Coming off multiple individual accomplishments in the first match, the Lynx had a lot of confidence in themselves in the second. Although the Gators took another quick 1-0 lead with a 25-11 victory in the first set, the Lynx showed no sign of backing down.
Midway through the second set, the Lynx were on top by four, 17-13, following an attack error by Gator first year middle blocker Josh Williams (Hartford, Conn.). However a kill by first year setter Nathan Matthews (Vinton, Va.) ignited a 6-0 Gator run to turn the table on the Lynx and take a 19-17 lead and forced the Lynx to call their first timeout.
Despite three kills and three total blocks – two solo and one assisted – from Hulteen, the Lynx were unable to keep pace with the Gators. First year opposite hitter Derick Speight (Clinton, Md.) led the way registering all three of his service aces in the second set to give Pine Manor the 2-0 cushion with the 25-22 victory.
In the third and final set, Johnson came alive offensively for the Gators tallying seven kills on 11 attempts with just one miscue but they needed more than just Johnson. DiDomenico remained consistent for the Lynx on offense but also played his part defensively with five defensive digs and one solo block before the Gators took the final set and the match 25-21.
Hulteen finished the second match tallying a team-high six kills while DiDomenico followed up with four kills and 10 digs. Junior setter Karuna Chiemruom (Cranston, R.I.) pace the offense with eight set assists.
Johnson led the Gators posting a staggering .571 attack percentage – tallying nine kills on 14 attempts and just one error while Williams matched his teammate's kill total, recording nine. Matthews paced the Gator offense with 26 assists.
The two losses drop Lesley to 0-7 on the season while Pine Manor climbs above .500 improving to 3-2. The Lynx return to the hard-court on Monday February 13th when they return to New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) action on the road against Regis College at 7:00 p.m.