Emerson College: 3
The men’s volleyball team secured its first Great Northeast Athletic Conference postseason win in the program’s history Tuesday, after a season in which the Lions have found success with their largest freshman class ever.
Emerson lost its first two sets against Wentworth Institute of Technology, but then won the third, fourth, and fifth sets to secure a 3-2 win.
The team staved off a number of match points in the fifth set, including overcoming a 14-11 defecit.
Within the game, rookies accounted for 40 of the 60 total kills.
The team welcomed six new players to its lineup at the beginning of the year, outnumbering the sophomore, junior, and senior players combined.
Alex Frapech, a freshman who had been named a GNAC Rookie and Player of the Week earlier in the season, said that the team’s freshmen are happy to have found success in their first year of play.
“We all come from pretty good volleyball backgrounds, and now we’re bringing that together all on one team,” said Frapech, a communication studies major.
Frepech had 28 kills in the match on Tuesday.
The Lions entered the playoffs with the sixth and final seed in the GNAC rankings, with a 12-16 overall record and 5-9 in conference play. Wentworth was ranked third, and had a 12-2 overall record.
Freshman Jared Gross said the Cougars were a physically larger team and underestimated Emerson’s ability.
“We played a team that was bigger, but we passed well and were more aggressive,” said Gross, a marketing communication major. “Us being young, people underestimate us, so we can take them by surprise.”
Eric Doherty, a senior, said he has high expectations for the future of the team.
“It’s a different energy than most teams have,” Doherty said. “When [the freshman] are seniors, I totally expect them to win the conference.”
Doherty said the team is confident entering the next round in the GNAC playoffs against Emmanuel College.
“I fully expect we beat Emmanuel, they are a good match up for us,” said the visual and media arts major. “Everything has just clicked at the right moment. We have nothing to lose mentality.”
Emerson will play in its first semifinals game at Emmanuel College today at 7 p.m.
Jason Madamjian, Beacon staff, contributed reporting