Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
NASHUA, N.H. – The Elms College men's volleyball team fell to host Daniel Webster College, 3-0 (19-25, 15-25, 13-25), in a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) contest at Mario Vagge Gymnasium Wednesday evening. The Blazers dip to 9-7 on the season, and 1-3 in the NECC, while Daniel Webster improves to 4-1 in the conference, and 9-9 overall.
The Blazers grabbed an early 4-1 lead in the first set on two service aces and a kill from sophomore Gabriel Reis Levy (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). The Eagles responded with four straight points en route to a 9-6 lead. Trailing 13-9, Elms pulled within a point on straight kills from Reis Levy, sophomore Daniel Bondarovsky (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and senior Angel Castro (Carolina, Puerto Rico) to make it 13-12. Daniel Webster used back-to-back kills from senior Ryan Howdeshell (Fairbanks, Alaska) to spark a 9-5 run which extended the Eagles lead to 22-17. Howdeshell capped off the 25-19 win with a kill following a pair of errors by the Blazers.
The Eagles jumped to a 7-3 lead in the second set. A kill from Nate Makaiwi capped off a 3-0 spurt by Daniel Webster to increase their lead to 10-6. Kills from Howdeshell book-ended a pair of errors by Elms to push the Eagles lead to 15-8. Elms chipped away on kills from Bondarovsky and junior Austin DeCosmo (Southwick, Mass.), but errors plagued the Blazers attack, helping DWC take a 21-13 lead. The Blazers had kills from Bondarovsky and Castro down the stretch, but kills from Eagles freshman Saunoa Afoa (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Howdeshell wrapped up the 25-15 win for Daniel Webster.
A pair of kills from Eagles Tommy Reyes (Providence, R.I.) built a 5-3 lead for Daniel Webster in the third set. The squads traded points, until Howdeshell and Afoa powered a 3-0 run to give the Eagles a 10-6 advantage. Leading 11-8, Daniel Webster raced ahead with six consecutive points, featuring kills from Makaiwi and Reyes, to grab a 17-8 lead. Reis Levy delivered two kills to trim the Elms deficit, but DWC maintained a lead behind two service aces from Reyes. Afoa registered a kill and an ace, followed by a kill from Makaiwi to close out the match with a 25-13 win.
Reis Levy paced the Blazers offense with a team-high eight kills and a team-high three service aces. Bondarovsky added six kills and four digs, while Castro tallied five kills and four digs. DeCosmo register three kills, three digs, and three blocks, and freshman John Dunphy (Farmington, Conn.) recorded 15 assists and four digs in the loss.
The Eagles were powered by a match-high 10 kills from Howdeshell. Afoa notched nine kills, seven digs and five assists, while Reyes finished with six kills, four aces and four digs. Makaiwi dished out a match-high 20 assists with seven digs and five kills.
The Blazers will be back on the court for a tri-match at Picknelly Arena Saturday afternoon. Elms hosts Newbury in NECC action at Noon, followed by a tilt with MIT at 4:00 p.m. The Eagles host Lesley in NECC play Saturday at 11:00 a.m.