NEWTON, Mass. – Mount Ida College came into Tuesday night's Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) home opener winners of four of their last five matches, but were not able to collect their first conference win, falling 3-0 (25-12, 25-21, 25-17) to the Raiders in men's volleyball action at the Athletic Center.
The Raiders, after having their six game winning streak snapped last night by Wentworth, improve to 10-6 overall and 2-1 in the GNAC, while Mount Ida stays above the .500 mark at 8-7 overall, but drops to 0-2 in GNAC play.
Mount Ida sophomore Brett Southworth (Orange, Conn.) led all players with 11 kills and also had two service aces and three digs, while freshman David Smith (Clinton, Ohio) paced Rivier with 10 kills.
Mustang sophomore Nathan Sprengle (Williamstown, N.J.) and Rivier freshman Danny Sciolaro (Wayne, N.J.) each put up 21 assists for their respective squads.
The Raiders hit .439 as a team and raced out to a 15-2 lead right from the opening serve, on their way to a one set lead with a 25-12 performance in the opening set.
Mount Ida found their footing in the second set and threatened to tie the match up, leading at 14-13, 15-14, and 16-15.
With the game tied at 17, kills by John Equitani (Coventry, R.I.) and Francis Kokoros (Braintree, Mass.) started a 3-0 spurt that led the Raiders to a slim lead. The teams traded the next seven points, but Rivier held off Mount Ida with the last two points sealing the match.
A 4-0 run in the third set, bookended by kills from Smith and Dashaun Graham (Highland Falls, N.Y.) extended a three-point Rivier lead to a 22-15 advantage, and two kills by Nathan Kunkel (Plum Borough, Pa.) helped to close out the Mustangs.
Peter Griffenkranz (Deer Park, N.Y.) added six kills and a service ace, along with a game-high six digs in the loss.
Graham was a problem at the net, recording three solo blocks and five block assists for Rivier, as the Raiders had ten stuffs of Mount Ida attacks.
Rivier will start March with a trip to the Midwest, starting Friday afternoon when they play at Milwaukee School of Engineering at 3:00 PM.
The Mustangs travel to Albertus Magnus at 7:00 PM this Thursday evening, then play a tri-match at Newbury on Saturday before taking their spring vacation.