The Lions play their first match within the GNAC on Thursday against Lasell, which is 14-1 overall. Lasell is currently ranked #12 in the nation and swept #15 Nazareth in straight sets on Feb. 11. Head coach Ben Read said that it would be impressive for the Lions to defeat the Lasers.
“It would be unbelievable if we could,” Read said. “To be able to beat a top fifteen team in the country has never happened before. I’m not sure we’ve taken a set from a team like that.”
Though Lasell’s ranked status provides a steep hill for his team to climb, Read and his players are confident they will compete with the tougher teams on their schedule.
“Lasell does some things that are very good, but height-wise they are a closer match to us,” Read said. “So we just have to see if our ball control can do the same thing that we did [against MIT on Feb. 4]. I think our hitting, our offense, and our block can do a little bit more than we were able to do against MIT.”
Mark Piorkowski said he thinks the team will put up a fight against Lasell on Thursday.
“We’re real scrappy,” Piorkowski said. “That’s what we’ve tried to be this year. We’re pretty decent defensively, pretty strong on the attack. Our serving has been a little inconsistent, but aside from that, if everything is put together, we’ll be pretty strong.”
Read said everyone will need to play well for the team to compete with Lasell.
“I don’t think we can rely on just one person,” Read said. “Win [Kittivatcharapong] had an incredible match against MIT and really helped carry us. Mark [Piorkowski] was right there too. Those two sophomores did a fantastic job. We’re just going to need a team effort to compete with those top teams.”