Lasers beat Raiders in straight sets
The men’s volleyball team defeated the Rivier University Raiders 3-0 in their second game during Saturday’s tri-match. The win marked the Laser’s fifth win in as many games while snapping the Raiders’ six-game win streak as well.
In the first set, Head Coach Jeff Vautrin’s squad lead for most of the time, but a run by the Raiders forced Vautrin to use a timeout. Eventually, the two sides were even at 23, but as the two teams battled back and forth it was the Lasers who came out on top 26-24.
Both teams hustled every chance they got and during the second set, neither one could pull away. Multiple blocks by the Raiders kept the set close, but it was the Lasers who had an answer every time the opposition tried to take the lead.
With the set once again tied at 23, sophomore Jordan Shinaut laid down a massive kill, sparking his team’s energy. Moments later, senior Brenden Joyce sprung into the air and sent the Raiders back to their bench with an emphatic block that won the set 25-23.
In the third set, it was all Lasers. A sequence in which senior Jan Baranowski had back-to-back plays where he earned a kill and a block fired up the crowd. But the boys in Carolina blue were not done yet. A few points later, sophomore Carter Phillips, who had only been in the game for a few plays prior, jumped above the net, fully extended his arms, and blocked what should have been a routine kill.
The Raiders quickly found themselves down 21-14 and in much need of a timeout. Unfortunately for them, the Lasers had no plans of taking their foot off the gas.
Coming out of the break, Shinaut enforced his will on the offensive and defensive end, blocking a shot and then hammering home another kill. Then, with only one point away from a victory, sophomore Theo Zaharewitz put the game away with his 17th kill of the match.
After the game, Baranowski said in an interview that the team wanted to ensure that they kept their composure and let their play for itself.
“Last week our biggest downfall was our effort,” said Baranowski. “[Today] we gave it our all for every single ball. We picked up the aggression and practiced hard.”
The Lasers will return to the Athletic Center on Tuesday, April 4th where they will play the honorary “White Ribbon Game” vs the Elms College Blazers at 7 p.m.