BROOKLINE, Mass. – Sophomore outside hitter Joshua Thorne (Oxford, Conn.) posted an outstanding .474 attack percentage tallying 10 kills on 19 attempts with just one error in Saturday afternoon's tri-match against Daniel Webster College and Wentworth Institute of Technology.
MATCH 1: Daniel Webster 3, Newbury 0
Daniel Webster hit a staggering .447 as a team to take the first match of the day, sweeping Newbury in three sets, 3-0. First year middle hitter Saunoa Afoa (Las Vegas, Nev.) notched a match-high 13 kills on 20 attempts with just one error for a .600 attack percentage to pull the Eagles back to .500 on the season and improve to 3-1 in conference play.
Afoa set the tone of the game early, notching seven kills on 10 attempts as the Eagles edged out the Nighthawks 25-20 in the first set. Daniel Webster did not look behind as taking the second with ease, 25-10, behind a monster solo block from Afoa midway through the game. The Las Vegas native remained consistent in the third game, posting three kills on five attempts in a 25-14 third set win.
Thorne led the Nighthawks registering a season-best .545 hitting percentage six on 11 attempts. Classmates, right side hitter Xavier Brown-Rose (Wilbraham, Mass.) and middle hitter Wade Robidoux (Agawam, Mass.) were right behind him with five kills each.
MATCH 2: Wentworth Institute of Technology 3, Daniel Webster 1
In the second match of the day, Wentworth Institute of Technology overcame an 0-1 hole to knock off Daniel Webster in three sets, 3-1, to earn their ninth victory of the year. Sophomore opposite hitter Jon Roat (Macedon, N.Y.) led three Leopards in double figures tallying a match-high 13 kills on 23 attempts with just three errors for a .435 attack percentage.
The Eagles came out strong in their second match of the day. Senior Ryan Howdeshell (Fairbanks, Alaska) was nearly perfect from the floor in the first set, registering six kills on eight attempts as the Eagles jumped out to the early, 1-0, taking the first set, 25-21.
However, the lead was short-lived as the Leopards answered. Roat was a perfect five-for-five as Wentworth evened up the match taking the second set in commanding fashion, 25-13. They did not look back as they knocked off the Eagles, 25-23 and 25-16 in the third and fourth sets, respectively.
Sophomore middle hitter Ollie Oshman (Pennington, N.J.) and sophomore outside hitter Sean Mullen (Longwood, Fla.) rounded out the Leopards in double-figures with 10 kills each. Oshman was nearly perfect, posting a .692 attack percentage with 10 kills on 13 attempts and just one miscue.
Howdeshell hit .348 in the match as he led the Eagles with 12 kills on 23 attempts and four errors. Afoa followed up with a .338 attack percentage, rounding out Daniel Webster with 10 kills on 22 attempts.
MATCH 3: Wentworth Institute of Technology 3, Newbury 0
Coming off three consecutive set victories, the Leopards had the momentum early on in the final match of the day against the Nighthawks. Wentworth junior outside hitter Jake Reed (Arvada, Colo.) was nearly perfect from the floor tallying five kills on seven attempts as the Leopards hit .464 in a 25-18 first set victory.
After dropping the second set, 25-13, the Nighthawks were not going to go away quietly. Late in the third set, first year setter Luis Aranda (Boyle Heights, Calif.) pulled the Nighthawks to within one point of the lead, 16-15, with a monstrous solo block in addition to his service ace earlier in the game.
Sophomore right side hitter Xavier Brown-Rose (Wilbraham, Mass.) notched two of his team-high seven kills in the third set. Classmate, outside hitter Joshua Thorne (Oxford, Conn.) followed up his .545 attack percentage against Daniel Webster by hitting .375 against Wentworth with four kills on eight attempts and just one error.
Newbury falls to 2-11 and 0-2 in conference play while Daniel Webster improves to 8-9 and 3-1 in the NECC and Wentworth moves to 10-5 on the season.