Men’s Volleyball Team Achieves First-Ever 20-Win Season
March 09, 2010
The Emmanuel men's volleyball team wrapped up an unprecedented week on March 7th, which included wins over three top-10 teams, setting a new program record for wins in a season and an undefeated run at the MIT Invitational Tournament. The team is 21-7 going into the spring break and will look to continue its success through the final stretch of the season.
After knocking off No. 6 Rivier College and No. 10 Milwaukee School of Engineering in one week, the Saints won four matches at the MIT Invitational, including a 3-1 win over No. 5 Carthage College. With the winning streak the Saints now own their first-ever 20-win season.
"This is a very seasoned team, losing just one player to graduation. I knew going into this season we would have an opportunity to improve. We are also facing the toughest schedule in the history of the program and the team is stepping up to the challenge," said Head Men's Volleyball Coach Christopher Wright. "I think the biggest difference this season is that everyone is committed to pushing themselves and pushing each other in practice and in games. The leadership of my co-captains Jake Deluise and Michael "Angus" Townsend has been fantastic this season. It's nice to have competition and good leadership because it brings the best out of everyone."
Outside hitter Curtis Abram '11 was named the Sports Imports/AVCA Men's Division III National Player of the Week in the first week of March for his play during the MIT Tournament. This marks just the second time an athlete from Emmanuel has received this honor. The last Saint to take home the accolade was Michael Townsend '10 in 2009. Abram reached the highly coveted 1,000 kill milestone when he slammed down 25 kills in the Saints' 3-1 win over Carthage College. For his efforts he was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. Abram is now one of just four past and present Emmanuel players to total more than 1,000 kills.
In addition Tyson Rietz '11 received All-Tournament Team honors for Emmanuel. Setter Taylor Lowe '10, who is the program's all-time leader in assists, also dished out his 3,000th career assist during the tournament. He entered the opening tournament game just 12 assists shy of 3,000 and he easily surpassed the mark in the Saints' 3-0 win over New Haven.
The team picks up the season after the break with just five games left before the GNAC Tournament. The Saints match up against Emerson College on March 16th and look to finish strong.
"Coming out of spring break we have a good week of competition that will help us ease back into some bigger, nationally ranked opponents," said Wright. "Hopefully, this will get us in the right mindset for the GNAC Tournament and potential Northeast Collegiate Volleyball Association (NECVA) Conference Championship. I know the guys are not satisfied, so they are resting up this break for one last push into the postseason."