The Albertus Magnus men's volleyball team fell to top-seeded Rivier College 3-0 (25-14, 25-23, 25-13) in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Tournament semifinals on Thursday night in Nashua.
The loss puts the Falcons at 19-9 on the year, while No. 12 Rivier (25-8) will advance to the GNAC Tournament Championship against Emmanuel College. The Saints downed Johnson & Wales (R.I.) 3-0 in semifinal action to move into the final as well.
Glenn Johnson (Newington, Conn.) led the Falcons with six kills in 17 tries, while both Douglas DeSousa (Danbury, Conn.) and Chase Brinton (Bethany, Conn.) added five kills apiece. DeSousa added a service ace along with a team-high seven digs.
Alex Xenidis (Shelton, Conn.) led the Raiders to their 25th victory as he recorded 11 kills and a .667 hitting percentage. Junior Steve Visentin (Cheshire, Conn.) dished out 35 assists for Rivier as well.
Carlos Torres (Adjuntas, Puerto Rico) recorded 17 assists on the night for the Falcons.
After falling in the opening set 25-14, the Falcons battled in the second set but were edged by the Raiders by a 25-23 final score. Rivier took an early 4-1 lead before the Falcons tied the set at six. Rivier led through most of the set and looked to have the match won at 23-17 but the Falcons went on a 6-0 run as Chris Pfeffer (Torrington, Conn.) served five points as the Falcons tied the set. During that run, Rivier's Chris Markuson tallied three-straight hitting errors to allow the Falcons back into the game. With the score tied at 23, a ball handling error by Torres followed by a Rivier kill secured the set victory for the Raiders.
Despite the loss, the Falcons have produced their more successful season in program history with a program-best 19 victories. The team also made its first appearance in the GNAC Tournament and won its first-ever postseason match.