NASHUA, N.H. – On day two of the Live Free or Die Invitational, the Endicott men's volleyball team dropped a pair of matches to nationally-ranked opponents as they wrapped up their first weekend of action in the 2014 regular season. The Gulls lost to #5 Baruch 3-0 (25-18, 25-18, 25-20) and to #8 Rivier 3-0 (25-11, 25-23, 26-24) to fall to 1-2 overall following their season opener victory over Daniel Webster.
Endicott will have a week of practice before returning to the court on Saturday, February 8th for a road match at Emmanuel (Mass.). First serve will be at 1:00 pm in the Jean Yawkey Center in Boston. Endicott is 14-7 all-time against the Saints and are coming off a 3-0 (30-28, 25-17, 26-24) win in their most recent meeting back on March 10th, 2013 at the Endicott Invitational.
Match One: Endicott vs #5 Baruch
Sophomore outside hitters John Osborne (Freehold, N.J.) and Dan Seaver (Milford, Mass.) each totaled a team-high six kills and senior setter Carter Roche (Clifton Park, N.Y.) had 22 assists and nine digs but Endicott faced a powerful Baruch attack that averaged a .309 hitting percentage as a team.
The Bearcats got two strong performances from Jack McKee (Bay Shore, N.Y.) and Chris Kaimis (Uniondale, N.Y.) who struck 15 and 13 kills, respectively, with just six combined hitting errors and setter Scott Standring (Moraga, Calif.) totaled 31 assists while adding 10 digs defensively. Baruch's Brendan Murphy (Old Pethpage, N.Y.) led all players with 12 digs.
The Gulls tried to stay in the match with defensive efforts by specialists Aaron Jessee (Okinawa, Japan) and Kristian Catalan (Sudbury, Mass.) who each had five digs as well as Travis Netherton (Waukegan, Ill.) and Alex Wasik (Milford, Mass.) who had their hands in two blocks apiece. Wasik also contributed with three service aces.
Match Two: Endicott vs #8 Rivier
Taking on a Rivier squad that beat #1 ranked Springfield the day before, Endicott overcame a tough first set to play a tight second set and nearly pull off a win in set three. Gulls senior outside Brennan Lowe (Malibu, Calif.) had six kills without an error on 14 attempts (.429), Netherton struck a team-high seven kills, and Gulls senior middle Mike Coniglione (Glenville, N.Y.) blocked four Raider attempts at the net in the loss. Coniglione also got five kills of his own.
Rivier's Chris Markuson (Cupertino, Calif.) amassed a match-high 12 kills with a .500 hitting percentage with two solo blocks and an assisted stop to lead the Raiders. Aaron Almario (Alhambra, Calif.) added five kills with three assisted blocks and setter Tyler Blank (Rochester, N.Y.) dished 32 assists for the home team.
Endicott hit .250 as a team, slightly above their .224 hitting percentage through three matches thus far this season. For the weekend, Endicott averaged 10.8 kills per set, 11.1 digs per set, and 1.4 blocks per set.