CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Newbury College spoiled the New England Collegiate Conference opener for Lesley University tonight as the Nighthawks rolled to a 3-0 (25-14, 25-15, 25-13) win over the Lynx at the Nicholas Athletic Center. The win improves Newbury to 3-5 on the season and a perfect 2-0 in NECC play while Lesley falls to 0-8 overall and 0-1 in the conference.
The Nighthawks used a balanced attack at the net as five different players recorded at least five kills. Senior Danny Tiner (Salem, N.H.) paced the guests with a match-high 11 kills as he swung at an outstanding .769 clip while freshman Wade Robidoux (Agawam, Mass.) added eight kills while hitting .800 from the floor. Freshman setter Michael Holihan (Northhampton, Mass.) set up the offense as he led all players with 32 assists while adding five kills of his own and classmate Joshua Thorne (Oxford, Conn.) also added five on the evening.
The Lynx were led by sophomore Tyler Burns (Newton, Pa.) who registered a team-best nine kills, two blocks, and four digs while junior Jess Cherry (Lancaster, Pa.) finished with four kills and four digs. Sophomore setter Mitchel Ulacco (Winchester, Mass.) dished out 14 assists and junior C. Jay Sutton (Billerica, Mass.) added three kills on a .500 hitting percentage.
Kills from Tiner and senior Chi Yin Li (Framingham, Mass.) along with a Lesley error gave Newbury a 10-6 lead to open up the first set. The Lynx quickly cut the deficit to two, 13-11, following a 5-3 spurt that was capped by a Burns kill, but that would be as close as they would get as the Nighthawks answered with a ferocious 12-3 run to close out the set, 25-14. Robidoux and Tiner led the charge as they combined for five kills on the streak.
The Lynx took back momentum to start the second set, as they jumped out to a 6-2 edge due in part to slams from Sutton and Burns, but the Nighthawks once again used a big run to reclaim their advantage. A Yin Li spike sparked the Newbury offense to score nine of the next 11 points to put them in front 11-8 before rolling to the 25-15 set win. Holihan, Yin Li, Tiner, ad Robidoux all recorded three kills in the set.
The third and final set was all Newbury as the visitors led start to finish. After holding an 8-5 advantage, the Nighthawks outscored the Lynx 17-5 the rest of the way to gain their second NECC victory of the season.
The two teams will meet again and finish their two-match regular season series on Thursday at 7:00p as the Lynx will travel to Brookline in a match that was rescheduled from February 10th.