BROOKLINE, Mass. - Lions sophomore Samuel Cueva (Swampscott, Mass.) finished with a career-high 19 kills, leading Eastern Nazarene to a comeback victory, 3-2 (25-22, 23-25, 21-25, 25-17, 15-6), over the Newbury Nighthawks on Saturday afternoon in New England Collegiate Conference play.
Lions junior James Hoopes (Lenexa, Kan.) added nine kills while hitting .200 from the floor. Junior Sunil Lepcha (Charlotte, N.C.), freshman Arthur Kossoski (Malden, Mass.), and senior Brandon Jenkins (Norton, Mass.) had 15, 13, and 11 digs, respectively. Jenkins also finished with 33 assists.
Nighthawks sophomore Rory Dobbins (Warwick, R.I.) and his career-high 20 kills fell just short for Newbury. Freshman Pedro Juan De Jesus (East Hartford, Conn.) finished with 11 kills and 11 digs. Sophomore Geral Rivera-Miranda (Everett, Mass.) had a match-high 18 digs. Sophomore Jeremias Soto (Lawrence, Mass.) had 34 assists.
Heading to the fifth set tied at two sets apiece, the Lions gained all the advantage they needed with seven straight points to take a 10-2 lead in the final set. The Nighthawks committed five attack errors in the 7-0 scoring run.
In total, the Lions totaled six kills on 11 attempts, with no errors, hitting .545 from the floor in the final set, as they went on to win the fifth, 15-6.
Eastern Nazarene won the opening set 25-22, coming back from six points down to win the set. The Nighthawks claimed the second and third in closely contested sets. The Lions forced the fifth set with a 25-17 fourth set win.
The victory moves the Lions to 9-12 (4-4 NECC) while the loss drops the Nighthawks to 6-13 (5-4 NECC).
These teams meet again on Thursday, March 21 at 7:00 p.m. for a rematch at ENC. While the rematch will be Newbury's next time in action, the Lions return on Tuesday with a 7:00 p.m. game, hosting Lesley University at the Lahue Physical Education Center.