NEWTON, Mass. – Senior Jeffrey Vautrin (Chicopee, Mass.) recorded 11 kills and eight digs, while adding a pair of service aces, as the Lasell College men’s volleyball team defeated Wentworth Institute of Technology 3-0 in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference tournament semifinal match Thursday night at Lasell.
With the win the second-seeded Lasers improve to 23-8 overall and will travel to top-seeded Rivier on Saturday to determine the GNAC champion and the conference’s automatic qualifier for the NCAA Division III Men’s Volleyball Tournament, slated to begin on April 18. The Leopards sit at 22-8 and await a possible at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament or their third straight appearance in the ECAC Tournament.
Back-to-back service aces by Vautrin put the Lasers up 5-1 early in the opening set. Lasell led by as many as 11 after Vautrin’s back-to-back kills. Lasell hit .467 in the set to help lead the Lasers to a 25-15 victory.
Wentworth got its first lead of the night after a Lasell attack error and a service ace by sophomore Alex Potts (Niverville, N.Y.) put the Leopards up 5-3 in the second set. The set remained close with the score tied numerous ties, up until 26-26. A service ace by sophomore Tristan Davis (Rochester, N.Y.) ended the set 28-26 and gave Lasell the 2-0 match lead.
A closely contested third set saw the teams battle to a 21-21 score. Vautrin knocked in a set-high five kills and was given the serve for the final three points. Four straight points at the end of the set gave Lasell the 25-21 set victory and a trip to their first GNAC final since the 2011 season.
Senior Dan Raffol (Natick, Mass.) finished with 11 kills, hitting .348 and adding a service ace and six digs. Junior Andrew Glenn (Westport, Conn.) had a match-high 35 assists for the Lasers, while Davis led with three service aces. Lasell hit .333 as a squad.
Freshman Jon Roat (Macedon, N.Y.) and sophomore Jake Reed (Arvada, Colo.) led the Leopards with 11 kills each. Roat had two service aces and six digs while hitting .400, while Reed hit .308 with three digs and a service ace.