QUINCY, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene College men's volleyball team posted a come-from-behind victory in the program's inaugural match, knocking off Newbury 3-2 Thursday evening at the Lahue Physical Education Center.
Kenny Sorensen (Quincy, Mass.) paced the home team with 18 kills while adding two digs. Derek Fowler (Williamstown, N.J.) registered 16 kills and four digs on the night. Matthew Tyree (Lansdale, Pa.) finished with 34 assists and three digs.
For the Nighthawks, junior Joshua Thorne (Oxford, Conn.) tallied a team-high 17 kills, while adding six digs and three aces. Senior Nile Fox (Hampton, Va.) added 10 kills and three blocks. Senior Elliott Pollard (Tacoma, Wash.) contributed 26 assists in the five-set match.
The Nighthawks grabbed control of the action early, escaping with a 26-24 first set victory, fending off a set point by Eastern Nazarene. Kills by Oscar Chavez (Independence, Ore.) and Fox, and a service ace by Pollard would give the opening set to the Nighthawks.
In set two, the Nighthawks would seize control, starting with a 14-8 advantage. But, five straight points for the Lions would cut the match to 14-13. From there, the two sides traded points, but a run of five straight by the Nighthawks would give them the second set, 25-19.
The Lions would hold the lead for the entire third set, hold off a run by the Nighthawks that got them to within one at 19-18. Eastern Nazarene would come through with six of the next nine point to win the third, 25-21.
In the fourth, the Nighthawks would have to stage another comeback in the set after falling behind 18-10 through the middle of the set. Nine of the next 10 points favored Newbury, a span that included five kills and an ace, tying the match 19-19. The sides would again trade points to 23-23. A Nighthawks error and an ace by Colin Fisher (Lansdale, Pa.) would hand the Lions the fourth set, 25-23.
In the final set with the score 7-6 in favor of the Lions, Eastern Nazarene came up with a 7-1 run to blow open the tiebreaking set at 14-7. The Nighthawks couldn't respond and dropped the heartbreaking fifth set, 15-8.
Eastern Nazarene opens the season 1-0 (1-0 NECC), while the Nighthawks opening night loss moves them to 0-1 (0-1 NECC). Next for the Nighthawks is a home-and-home with Emerson College, first a road match on Jan. 31 at 7:00 p.m., followed by a home match on Feb. 7 at 6:00 p.m.