WESTON, Mass. – The Endicott men's volleyball team won their NECC opener in straight sets (25-23, 25-22, 26-24) over Regis behind a 20-kill night from junior outside hitter John Osborne(Freehold, N.J.) and a strong blocking presence in the third set's final moments by sophomore middle Ryan Sutherland (Fairport, N.Y.).
After grinding out a first set victory, Endicott (2-6, 2-0 NECC) needed to erase deficits in the second and third sets in order to maintain their undefeated, all-time record against Regis. The Gulls are now 12-0 all-time against the Pride who earned the #2 spot in the 2015 NECC Preseason Poll behind the two-time defending conference champions Endicott. The Blue and Green will look to win back-to-back matches for the first time this season in their 2015 home opener on Thursday night, February 12th against NECC rival Elms.
Osborne's 20 kills were one shy of former two-time AVCA Second Team All-American AJ Witkofsky's '10 program record of 21 kills in a three-set match from 2009. Osborne tied his career-high of 20 kills, set back on March 9th, 2013 in a five-set loss to Kean, while setting a new personal-best with a .643 hitting percentage (20-2-28).
Trailing 24-22 in the third set, Sutherland recorded a solo block to force a Regis timeout. Sutherland and Osborne combined for a block on the very next play to knot the score at 24 all and after an attack error by the Pride gave Endicott the lead, Sutherland once again had his hand in another team block this time with freshman setter Troy Riorden (Fairport, N.Y.) to seal a Gulls win.
Sutherland's blocking efforts were part of a team effort that produced seven blocks as junior middleDaniel Toth (Vernon, N.J.) had four block assists, Osborne added three, and junior middle Alex Wasik (Milford, Mass.) made two assisted stuffs at the net as well. An additional defensive presence was put out by senior libero Kristian Catalan (Sudbury, Mass.) who matched Osborne for a match-high six digs.
Riorden passed 33 assists while adding five kills himself. Along with Osborne, Rioden found junior outside hitter Dan Seaver (Milford, Mass.) for eight kills, four kills apiece for Sutherland and Wasik, and three for Toth.
Regis was led by 10 kills from freshman Marcos Aguirre (Norwalk, Calif.), 26 assists from sophomore setter Joe Hanrahan (Coventry, R.I.), and a total of six kills, five digs, and two block assists from freshman Ryan Husher (Camarillo, Calif.).