WESTON, Mass. – After losing the first two sets, Regis College was able to win the third set to extend the match, but Nichols College rebounded and took the fourth set for a 3-1 victory (25-16, 25-17, 20-25, 25-22) Friday evening in a non-conference men's collegiate volleyball match at Higgins Court.
Matt Ferrara (Haverhill, Mass.) once again led the Pride offensively with 15 kills, hitting .314 for the match, plus he collected two service aces and four digs. Drew Beimel (Redondo Beach, Calif.) finished with 11 kills, three service aces, four digs, and four total blocks. Defensively, Kostea Andreenko (Marstons Mills, Mass.) led the team at the net with five blocks to go along with six kills, and Zabdiel Frias (Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico) paced the squad with 11 digs.
After Regis scored three of the first four points of the match, Nichols came back with three straight points on kills by Andre Foster and Ray Wang as well as a block by Collin Hunter. With the score tied at 8-8, the Bison took the lead for good on a kill by Sean Jackson, and then Nichols put together a 9-2 scoring run to extend its lead to 21-13. Wang would close out the set for the Bison with a kill and a service ace.
In the second set, a service ace by Ferrara tied the set at 3-3, but Nichols went on a 7-1 scoring run to pull ahead, 10-4. Regis scored four straight points to close to within two, but that would be as close as the Pride would get in the set, as the Bison finished with a 9-3 scoring run, capped by a kill from Foster.
With the score tied at 13-13 in the third set, Regis scored the next three points, including a block assist and a kill by Beimel. Nichols closed to within one on two kills by Hunter, but the Pride responded with five unanswered points, led by Beimel with two service aces and Ferrara with two kills. Ferrara would earn his seventh kill of the set to clinch it for Regis.
Nichols (1-3) raced out to a 5-1 lead in the fourth set, capped by consecutive kills from Lance Law, but Regis scored the next four points, punctuated by a kill and a block assist by Beimel, to pull into a 5-5 tie. Three kills by Hunter keyed a 6-1 Bison scoring run, but the Pride again rallied with five straight points, including two more kills from Beimel, to once again tie the set at 11-11.
Hunter put the Bison ahead for good with a kill and a service ace, but Regis would eventually close to within one at 17-16. A kill by Luis Castro brought about match point for the Bison, but the Pride held them off with a block by Jayson Vega (Ponce, Puerto Rico) and Andreenko sandwiched around two kills by Ferrara. However, Wang finally put the set and the match away with a kill, clinching the first victory in program history for Nichols.
Wang led the Bison with 15 kills and a .323 hitting percentage, while Hunter collected 11 kills, four service aces, eight digs, and three solo blocks. Castro notched a double-double with 37 assists and 13 digs, and Oscar Chavez contributed 11 digs to the winning effort.
Regis (1-3) opens conference play next Wednesday, Feb. 6, at Johnson & Wales starting at 7 p.m. Nichols heads right back into action against another GNAC opponent, hosting Emmanuel Saturday, Feb. 2, at 11 a.m.