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Saints Men’s Volleyball Looks to Build Off Strong 2014 Campaign as Season Opens Friday

Senior outside hitter Ashanti Jackson will hope to lead the Saints to another appearance in the GNAC Championship, where last season they fell to Rivier. The Saints open their campaign on Friday night at Harvard. (Photo courtesy of Emmanuel College Athletic Department, used with permission)

Senior outside hitter Ashanti Jackson will hope to lead the Saints to another appearance in the GNAC Championship, where last season they fell to Rivier. The Saints open their campaign on Friday night at Harvard. (Photo courtesy of Emmanuel College Athletic Department, used with permission)

Originally published on GoECSaints.com, reprinted with permission of Emmanuel College Athletic Department and the author.

After an 18-12 record in 2014, the Emmanuel College men’s volleyball squad looks to hit the ground running in 2015 by returning their entire roster plus two returning players and the addition of a new head coach, Bori May. The Saints fell to Rivier University in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championship last season, 3-1, to take the runner up spot in the GNAC.

The Saints return all of their starters this season, including captains and all-conference outside hitters Ashanti Jackson and Zach Whitermore. Joining them in the role of captain is senior right side Ryan Kessler. Fellow seniors Sean Baxley and Wyatt Cooper hope to make an impact this year as starters.

Senior right side Austin Cockerill looks to make an impact on the court alongside outside Brett Pettis and middle Cam Palmer  in their final seasons.

First year head coach Bori May comes in after being the assistant for the Emerson College program. He looks to use both his knowledge of the game and experience in the GNAC to steer the team toward victory this season.

“I have high expectations,” said May. “We have all the right pieces. Now, all we need to do is put them in place.”

The 2015 campaign will see the return of junior outside hitter Barrett Wingard and senior libero Cody Diehl after both did not play a season ago. Also after a season of injuries kept him on the sidelines, junior middle hitter Julian Hess hopes to make a major impact in his return. No freshmen joined the roster this year, but a wealth of experience and talent hope to push the Saints toward their goal.

Junior middle Garrett McGarry hopes to have another strong season in the starting role. His 101 total blocks led the team last year. Strong play from fellow middle Michael Felix proved vital in the Saints’ post-season run. Defensive specialist Kevin Gallegos will be anchoring the defense alongside Diehl, switching off between libero and back row specialist.

Junior outside Drew Jordan and lone sophomore Jorge Rojas also look to contribute to the campaign. Both saw time coming off the bench last season.

Emmanuel was tabbed third in the 2015 GNAC Pre-Season Coaches’ Poll, receiving a total of 46 points behind No. 1 Rivier (59 points) and No. 2 Wentworth (56 points).

The Saints open the season with a matchup against Division I Harvard on Friday, January 30 with first serve scheduled for 7 p.m. Their first home match will take place on Monday, February 2 against three-time defending national champion and third-ranked Springfield College. The match is slated for an 8 p.m. start.

Drew Jordan ’16 can be reached at jordand2@emmanuel.edu

Posted by on January 29, 2015. Filed under Around Campus. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.