New Haven, Conn. – The Albertus Magnus College men's volleyball team ended the 2016 regular season with a pair of losses to Mount Ida and Rivier in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) tri-match on Saturday afternoon at The Nest inside the Cosgrove Marcus Messer Athletic Center. In the opening contest, the Mustangs topped the Falcons, 3-1. The Raiders netted a 3-0 triumph versus MIC in game two and Rivier blanked AMC, 3-0, in the finale.
With the two setbacks, Albertus Magnus ends the year with a 5-16 overall record and a 0-14 mark in conference play. With the split, Mount Ida moves to 8-23 on the season and 2-12 in league action, while Rivier enters the post-season 20-10 overall and 10-4 in conference matches.
Mount Ida scored a 31-29, 20-25, 25-20 and 25-15 win to spoil Senior Day for the Falcons. As a team, the Mustangs recorded 55 kills, dished out 50 assists, registered 44 digs and four blocks. On the opposite side, Albertus Magnus had 35 kills, 30 assists, 43 digs and six blocks.
Leading the charge for the Falcons offensively was senior outside hitter Justin Tharau (Burlington, Conn.) with 16 kills, while junior middle hitter Josh Turner (Trumbull,Conn.) added nine of his own. Senior Ben Spilka (Redding, Conn.) contributed six kills and freshman setter Jeremy Ortiz (Bridgeport, Conn.) racked up 24 assists. Defensively, Tharau had 11 digs, while Ortiz and Spilka had 10 and nine digs, respectively. At the net, Turner contributed a game-best four blocks.
For the guests, junior outside hitter Peter Griffenkranz registered a game-high 24 kills thanks to a .268 attack percentage. Two other Mustangs recorded double-digit kill totals as freshman Tyler Shinkle and senior James Ames added 10 and 14 kills, respectively. Senior setter Jimmy Wessel did a good job of distributing the ball in the middle, registering 44 assists. Defensively, Wessel had a match-high 16 digs and Griffenkranz added 11 of his own.
After cruising past Mount Ida in the second game of the day, Rivier topped the host Falcons, 25-8, 25-17, 25-14. As a team, the Raiders amassed 44 kills, 42 assists, nine service aces, 29 digs and five blocks. Albertus Magnus had 15 kills, 15 assists and 22 digs.
Offensively, Tharau paced the Falcons with eight kills, while Spilka added three in his final collegiate home contest. Ortiz continued his strong play, dishing out 14 assists. On the defensive side, Tharau had a match-high nine digs, while sophomore libero Matt Stoll (Shelton, Conn.) chipped in four.
It was a balanced attack for the Raiders with four players totaling eight or more kills. Setting the pace and dishing out the ball in the middle was junior setter Matt LaSance with 40 assists. Sophomores Garrett Bucklin on the outside and Matt Heckler on the inside each recorded 10 kills apiece, while freshmen Dashaun Graham and Nathan Kunkel both netted eight kills.
Prior to the contest against Mount Ida to start the day, Albertus Magnus honored the three members of the senior class for their contributions to the program.