Nighthawks Drop Five-Set Battle at Colby-Sawyer

Nighthawks Drop Five-Set Battle at Colby-Sawyer

NEW LONDON, N.H. – January 26, 2019 – The Colby-Sawyer men's volleyball team dropped the first two sets, but rallied to win the next three and earn the program's second win in as many tries in its inaugural season. The Chargers defeated Newbury 25-27, 21-25, 25-21, 25-21 and 15-7.

Colby-Sawyer improves to 2-0 and will play their first road match, which will also be the first Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) contest, on Thursday at Wentworth. Newbury falls to 0-3 and will host Emmanuel on Thursday at 7 p.m.

First-year Orlando Plagata (Los Angeles, Calif.) hit .394 to finish with a match-best 28 kills for the Chargers. He added 15 digs for his second-straight double-double. First-year Eric Miller (La Grange, Ill.) also finished with a double-double of 15 kills and 14 digs. First-year AJ Gnieski (Needham, Mass.) collected 42 assists. First-year Marc Flaherty (North Reading, Mass.) tallied 12 digs.

Newbury was led by a career-high 17-kill effort from sophomore Rory Dobbins (Warwick, R.I.). First-year Pedro Juan De Jesus (East Hartford, Conn.) registered career-highs with 15 kills and 10 digs. Sophomore Geral Rivera-Miranda (Everett, Mass.) tallied a match-high 25 digs. Sophomore Jeremias Soto (Lawrence, Mass.) contributed 35 assists and 12 digs.

The first set featured eight ties and four lead changes. After the score was tied 20-20, Colby-Sawyer came within a point of clinching the set at 24-21 on a Plagata kill. Newbury fought back to take a 25-24 lead on a Colby-Sawyer miscue. Plagata then tied the frame with a kill, but the Nighthawks scored the next two and won the set on Rory Dobbins' fifth kill.

The second set was also tied at 20-20 when Newbury finished on a 5-1 run capped by a pair of aces by De Jesus. The set had 13 ties and five lead changes. Plagata had six kills and Colby-Sawyer had an 11-10 edge in kills in the set.

Colby-Sawyer regrouped and began the third set with a 9-3 lead and never looked back. Trailing 20-11, the Nighthawks clawed back to come within a pair at 22-20, but the Chargers hung on to win the set 25-21 after a Newbury service error.

The Chargers carried the momentum into the fourth and started with a 6-2 run, capped by a Plagata kill. The set was close late, once again, with the Chargers holding a slim 21-20 lead. Colby-Sawyer benefited from a couple of Newbury miscues but won the set on back-to-back kills from Plagata and Gnieski. Despite dropping the set, Newbury had a 10-6 advantage in kills and received four apiece from De Jesus and Dobbins.   

The fifth set was all Chargers as they took a 9-4 lead to force a timeout. Colby-Sawyer continued to push and was able to take the deciding set on Plagata's 28th kill of the match, 15-7. 

Release courtesy Colby-Sawyer Athletics.