Aranda, Paige Stifle Lion Offense En Route to 3-2 Win

Photo by: Mike Broglio
Photo by: Mike Broglio

BROOKLINE, Mass. – The Newbury College men's volleyball team earned their first victory of the season with a five-set, 3-2, victory over non-conference Emerson College, Thursday evening. Sophomore middle hitter Wade Robidoux (Agawam, Mass.) posted a .323 attack percentage with 15 kills on 31 attempts with just five miscues in win.

The Nighthawks came out of the gate strong edging out the Lions, 25-22, in the first set to grab the quick, 1-0 match advantage. Robidoux was nearly perfect from the floor notching four kills on six attempts while classmate, right side hitter Xavier Brown-Rose (Wilbraham, Mass.) tallied three kills on six attempts with zero errors.

However, the winds of momentum shifted over towards Emerson. Senior outside hitter Jackson Wiley (Los Angeles, Calif.) combined to tally nine kills on 23 attempts in the next two games to put the Lions in control of the match, 2-1. First year outside hitter Mark Piorkowski (Salem, N.H.) complimented Wiley notching five kills on 11 attempts for an outstanding .364 attack percentage en route to the 25-22 victory.

With their backs against the wall, the Nighthawks did not back down. The duo of junior middle hitter Khalil Paige (Baltimore, Md.) and first year setter Luis Aranda (Boyle Heights, Calif.) gave the Nighthawks the spark they need at the net combining for five total blocks in the set. Late in the third set, Aranda sealed the game going up with Robidoux for his second block assists of the set, to give the Nighthawks the 21-19 lead and they never looked back.

In the fifth set, first year middle hitter Skyelar Whitehead's (Belchertown, Mass.) solo block midway through the game turned the set around for the Nighthawks. Robidoux and Brown-Rose combined to hit .667 with six kills on nine attempts with zero errors as the Nighthawks took the deciding game, 15-13 and earn their first victory of the season.

Aranda and Paige were monsters at the net, leading the Nighthawks with six total blocks. The Southern California native notched five block assists and one solo while the Baltimore native posted six block assists – the majority with Aranda. Brown-Rose rounded out the Nighthawks in double figure kills tallying 13 kills on 28 attempts with just five errors to a .286 attack percentage.

Piorkowski led with a match-high 17 kills on 37 attempts and seven errors for a .270 attack percentage while Wiley followed with 15 kills. Sophomore middle blocker Stig Regan (Kailua, Hawaii) was remarkable at the net recording a match-high nine total blocks – seven assisted and two solo – while senior setter Brandon McGonigle (Los Angeles, Calif.) paced the offense with 47 assists.

Newbury improves to 1-5 on the season while Emerson drops to 2-4 on the year. The Nighthawks return to the hard-court this weekend, Saturday February 6th when they travel to Newton, Mass. for a tri-match against non-conference Mount Ida College and Vassar College at 11:00am. The Lions will host Lesley University tomorrow evening in Boston, Mass. at 7:00 p.m.

Game Notes:

Newbury is now 1-1 against GNAC opponents in 2016…Their next GNAC opponent is Saturday February 6th against Mount Ida…