Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
CHICOPEE, Mass. – The Elms College men's volleyball team suffered their first New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) loss of the season, falling to visiting Endicott College, 3-0 (23-25, 16-25, 19-25), in a NECC match at Picknelly Arena Saturday afternoon. The Blazers slide to 8-4 on the season, and 1-1 in league play, while Endicott improves to 1-0 in conference, and 6-6 overall.
During a back-and-forth opening set of play, a kill from sophomore Gabriel Reis Levy (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) put the Blazers up 4-3. Elms used a kill from junior Austin DeCosmo (Southwick, Mass.) to knot the match at 6-6, but a kill from Endicott junior Daniel Toth (Glenwood, N.J.) put the Gulls up 8-6. No more than three points separated the teams on the scoreboard down the stretch. Reis Levy delivered a pair of kill, followed by a strike from senior Angel Castro (Carolina, Puerto Rico) to regain a 15-14 lead for the Blazers. Endicott pulled ahead 20-18 behind kills from senior Alex Wasik (Milford, Mass.) and freshman Jeremy Doski (Sandy Hook, Conn.). Down 21-18, the Blazers evened things on kills from Reis Levy and sophomore Daniel Bondarovsky (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). The Gulls responded with kills from Wasik and sophomore Troy Riorden (Fairport, N.Y.) and an ace from Doski put Endicott within set point, 24-22. Castro delivered a kill for Elms, but came up short on the following attack to give the Gulls a 25-23 lead.
In the second set, the Gulls build a 6-4 lead on a pair of kills from Riorden and Wasik. Endicott paced the Blazers over the next few points, but kills from Reis Levy and Bondarovsky trimmed the deficit to 11-8. Toth knocked a pair of kills for the Gulls to expand the advantage to 14-9, followed by a pair of kills from Wasik to hand Endicott a 17-12 lead. Endicott rattled off three straight kills, paired with an Elms error to mow ahead 21-13. The Gulls used kills from Riorden and Doski to close the set with a 25-16 win.
Four kills from the Gulls built an early 5-2 lead for Endicott in the third set. A kill from Reis Levy put the Blazers within two points, 5-3, but errors by Elms allowed Endicott to develop a 9-4 lead. The Blazers battled back behind kills from Castro and junior Dervin Dimanche (Queens, N.Y.) to make it 11-7, but a trio of Elms errors handed the Gulls a 14-7 lead. Elms mounted a final comeback attempt, outscoring Endicott, 6-3, over the next nine points to cut the deficit to 17-13 on a kill from Castro. With Elms down 19-15, the Gulls used a kill and service ace from junior Tyler Willgoos (Newington, Conn.) to create separation, 23-15. The Gulls closed the match on kills from senior Dan Seaver (Milford, Mass.) and junior Ryan Sutherland (Fairport, N.Y.) to capture the 25-19 win and the three-set sweep.
The Blazers were led Reis Levy with a match-high 11 kills with five digs. Dimanche, Bondarovsky, Castro and DeCosmo each tallied six kills. Castro snared a match-high 11 digs, while Bondarovsky added seven digs. Freshman John Dunphy (Farmington, Conn.) doled out a match-high 31 kills with three digs and a kill.
Wasik paced the Gulls with a team-high seven kills, while Riorden and Toth added six kills apiece with Toth delivering a match-high four blocks. Senior John Osborne (Freehold, N.J.) grabbed five digs with three kills and two blocks, while senior Cameron Little (San Diego, Calif.) dished out a team-high 18 assists with three kills and a block.
The Blazers will look to return to the win column when they host Sage College in non-conference action Wednesday night at 8:00 p.m. Endicott travels to Regis College for a conference match Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.