Emerson’s men’s volleyball team dominated Pine Manor Saturday afternoon in a three-set, season-opening sweep.
The Lions rarely struggled, winning each set by at least 14 points. Sophomores Mark Piorkowski and Win Kittivatcharapong led the offense with 12 and 11 kills, respectively. Junior Nick Rusk provided 32 assists.
Freshman Diego Garcia played a strong match in his debut with the Lions, posting a .600 hitting percentage and seven kills.
“My first collegiate game was a rush in itself,” Garcia said. “Given the stakes of the game I don’t think it’s too much to say that was expected, what we saw on the court. We came into it thinking we should have a fun game, and we did.”
Garcia said he thinks the team’s resistance to adversity will be tested as the season continues, and he complimented Nick Rusk’s setting in the match.
“Nick Rusk has consistent hands,” Garcia said. “He’s a great setter.”
Coach Ben Read echoed Garcia’s sentiments about Rusk’s first match as the team’s main setter.
“That’s what we’re looking for,” Read said of the junior co-captain. “For his first match this year, setting, he did well. We’ll be looking for him to do a few different things down the road, maybe run some plays, speed some things up, but I thought he did a good job distributing the ball and ran a good offense.”
Read said he was pleased with the team’s consistency in its passing game, though he noted there are tougher teams to come this season. Read highlighted the Lions’ match against MIT Tuesday, Feb. 4.
“MIT is a very good team,” Read said. “If we can go ahead and be competitive, maybe surprise them, it’d be awesome to see.”
MIT swept Emerson (9-16 last year) in straight sets in both 2016 meetings.
Before the MIT match, the Lions face Newbury College at home at 7 p.m. Tuesday.