Men's volleyball caps best season with most awards yet

by Samuel Evers / Beacon Staff and Claire Nobles / Beacon Staff • April 13, 2015

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Junior libero Jared Gross was named the GNAC Defensive Player of the Year.
Thomas Mendoza / Beacon Archives
Junior libero Jared Gross was named the GNAC Defensive Player of the Year.
Thomas Mendoza / Beacon Archives

This was a season of firsts for the volleyball team—they posted their best-ever record of .500—and now, for the first time in the program’s history, the Lions had players recognized as part of the conference’s first team.

Emerson’s men’s volleyball team had four players recognized by the Great Northeast Athletic Conference’s end-of-season awards, which were announced on April 13.

Junior libero Jared Gross was named the GNAC Defensive Player of the Year—he led the conference in digs per set with 3.29—and was also chosen to the first team all-conference, an honorary award that recognizes the best players in each position. His teammate, junior outside hitter Jackson Wiley, was also named to the first team due to his conference-leading 4.35 kills per set.

“Before Wiley, we only ever had three players named to a conference team,” said head coach Ben Read. “This year, to have two first team players and a second team player; it’s awesome to see the support and recognition that some of our team members are getting.”

Rounding out the awards for Emerson were junior setter Brendan McGonigle, who was named to the second team all-conference, and junior right side hitter Ben Hillman, who was named to the all-sportsmanship team for the third straight season.

“We are on the cusp of being really good,” said Read, who noted an expected freshman class of three players next year. “We have some really good players. We have the talent; now we just need the numbers.”

Of the four players recognized, only two received awards last year—Hillman and Wiley, who was named to the third team all-conference. Emerson finished the season 13-13 and 5-9 in conference, its best record to date.

Updated on April 15