Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
CHICOPEE, Mass. – The Elms College men's volleyball squad was defeated in three sets by visiting Newbury College, 25-23, 25-21 & 25-21, in a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) matchup at Picknelly Arena Wednesday night. The Blazers slip to 4-18 on the season and 1-8 in NECC play, while Newbury improved to 8-11 overall and 5-5 in the NECC.
In a competitive first set, the Blazers grabbed a 5-3 lead on a kill from freshman opposite Kahlil Peters (Hartford, Conn.), but the Nighthawks would pull even at 9-9 on a kill from freshman Xavier Brown-Rose (Wilbraham, Mass.). Newbury pulled ahead, 12-9, on Elms errors, and then gave the lead away with four straight errors, handing the Blazers a 15-12 lead. The Nighthawks rallied back and took a 20-18 lead following a pair of kills from senior Danny Tiner (Salem, N.H.). Elms pulled within a point, 22-21, after a kill from freshman Blake Fry (Natick, Mass.), and again at 23-22 on a kill from sophomore Qua'Sean Crowe (Stamford, Conn.), but the Nighthawks capitalized on Elms errors to secure the 25-23 first set win.
The second set opened with Newbury taking an early 8-3 lead behind kills from Tiner, sophomore Nile Fox (Hampton, Va.), and senior Chi Yin Li (Hong Kong, China). Four straight errors by the Blazers extended the Nighthawks advantage to 11-4. Back-to-back kills from Tiner capped off a 5-2 run by Newbury to push their lead to 16-6. The squads exchanged points until kills from Tiner and freshman Wade Robidoux (Agawam, Mass.) helped close out the 25-11 win for Newbury.
The Blazers jumped to an early 4-2 lead in the third set after a kill from junior Cristian Arroyo (Chicopee, Mass.), but the Nighthawks pulled ahead with a 4-0 run. Elms pulled even at 6-6 after consecutive errors from Newbury, and again the Nighthawks responded with a 6-0 run to grab a 12-6 advantage. Newbury used a pair of service aces from freshman Joshua Thorne (Oxford, Conn.) to extend their cushion to 16-7, and a kill from Tiner would make it an 18-9 contest. The Nighthawks capitalized on five Elms errors down the stretch, paired with kills from Fox and Tiner, to secure the 25-11 win in the final set.
Crowe paced the Blazers with a team-high four kills. Arroyo and junior Roger Conklin (Chicopee, Mass.) registered three kills each, while senior Kevin Welsh (Wilbraham, Mass.) doled out 10 assists with a team-high eight digs.
Tiner led the Newbury attack with a double-double, tallying a match-high 10 kills with 10 digs. Li added seven kills, 10 assists and 8 digs, while Fox and Robidoux recorded seven kills apiece. Freshman Michael Holihan (Northampton, Pa.) dished out a game-high 23 assists with five digs, and junior libero Stephen Watson (Monterey, Calif.) snared a match-high 12 digs in the win.
The Blazers will return to action with a home NECC tilt against Regis College (9-14, 5-4) at Picknelly Arena Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. The Nighthawks travels to Emerson College Thursday night for a 7:00 p.m. non-conference game.