Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
CHICOPEE, Mass. – The Elms College men's volleyball team dropped the final two sets in a four-set New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) battle between the Blazers and visiting Daniel Webster College. Elms fell 3-1 (23-25, 26-24, 19-25, 14-25) to the Eagles Tuesday evening at Picknelly Arena.
After trailing 2-0 in the first set, the Eagles rallied to capture a 9-5 advantage. The squads traded the lead three times over the next several points, eventual finding themselves knotted at 18-18. The Eagles took a 22-18 lead, but Elms chipped it to 23-23 until the Eagles closed the set with two straight points.
Daniel Webster grabbed an early 8-5 lead in the second set, and extended their lead to 18-11. The Blazers roared back, scoring eight of the next nine points, to knot the game at 19-19. DWC pulled ahead 22-20, but Elms closed the game out with three kills from freshman Daniel Bondarovsky (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) to claim the 26-24 win.
A kill from senior Joel Hendrix (Kane'ohe, Hawaii) gave the Eagles a 7-4 lead in the third set. The Blazers grabbed an 8-7 lead with four consecutive kills. The Blazers paced the Eagles a majority of the third set, until a kill from junior James Kenney (Coventry, R.I.) and four straight errors from Elms handed Daniel Webster a 22-19 lead. A block from Hendrix, followed by an error from Elms freshman Gabriel Reis Levy (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) sealed the 25-19 win for the Eagles.
The energy waned from the Blazers in the four set as the Eagles raced to a 13-6 advantage. The Eagles held Elms at bay as four errors from the Blazers put DWC up 17-8. Back-to-back kills from Bondarovsky cut the Blazers deficit to 19-10, but it wouldn't be enough as the Eagles secured the four set win with a 25-14 victory in the final set.
The Blazers were led by a team-best 13 kills from Reis Levy, who added a pair of solo blocks with four digs. Bondarovsky registered a double-double with a game-high 14 digs and 12 kills, while senior setter Kevin Welsh (Wilbraham, Mass.) dished out a season-high 34 assists with nine digs. Freshman Blake Fry (Natick, Mass.) added seven kills and 12 digs off the bench.
Hendrix paced the Eagles offensively with a match-high 14 kills with six digs, five service aces, and three blocks. Junior Ryan Howdeshell (Fairbanks, Alaska) recorded a double-double with a team-high 24 assists, 10 kills and eight digs. Junior Tommy Reyes (Providence, R.I.) tallied 15 assists, 10 digs, nine kills and three blocks in the win.
The Blazers drop to 2-10 overall, and 0-2 in the NECC, while Daniel Webster picks up their first win of the season, improving to 1-4, and 1-1 on the season. Elms returns to action with a trip to Newbury College for a NECC tilt Saturday afternoon at 11:00 a.m. The Eagles travel to Southern Vermont for an NECC match Saturday at 1:00 p.m.