Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
CHICOPEE, Mass. – The Elms College men's volleyball team hosted a tri-match against visiting Newbury College and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) at Picknelly Arena Saturday afternoon. The Engineers sweep the Blazers and the Nighthawks in three sets, while Elms defeated Newbury in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) action. Elms moves to 10-8 on the season, and 2-3 in the NECC, while Newbury drops to 0-5 in conference play and 2-15 overall, and MIT improves to a 14-4 mark.
Match #1: Elms 3, Newbury 0 (25-21, 25-13, 28-26)
Against Newbury, the Blazers snagged an early 7-4 lead behind a pair of kills from sophomore Blake Fry (Natick, Mass.). The Nighthawks suffered from three errors to expand the Elms advantage to 10-5. The Blazers rattled off a 7-4 run, featuring two kills apiece from junior Qua'Sean Crowe (Stamford, Conn.) and sophomore Daniel Bondarovsky (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) to pull ahead 17-9. Elms sandwiched kills from sophomore Gabriel Reis Levy (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) sandwiched an ace from Fry to give the Blazers a 20-12 lead. The Nighthawks battled back behind three straight kills from freshman Luis Aranda (Boyle Heights, Calif.), followed by a kill from sophomore Wade Robidoux (Agawam, Mass.) to cut the score to 22-17. A service ace from Robidoux made it 23-20, but the Blazer closed the set on kills from Bondarovsky and junior Austin DeCosmo (Southwick, Mass.) to claim the 25-21 win.
In the second set, the squads traded points to open play with a kill from Crowe putting Elms up 5-3. The Blazers extended the lead to 9-5 on kills from Bondarovsky and Reis Levy, but Newbury answered with a strike from Aranda to make it 10-8. Three Newbury errors, followed by a slam from Reis Levy padded the lead to 14-9. After kills from Crowe and Bondarovsky gave Elms a 16-10 lead, error plagued play, making it an 18-12 score. The limited the Nighthawks to one more point as kill from Fry and Reis Levy locked up the 25-13 win.
The Blazers carried their momentum into the third set, racing to an 8-3 lead behind kills and aces from Bondarovsky and Reis Levy. The Nighthawks used a 6-3 run to trim the Blazers advantage to 11-9. Elms remained ahead of Newbury, but kills from Robidoux and Aranda kept the Nighthawks close and a service ace from sophomore Michael Holihan (Northampton, Pa.) tied the game at 20-20. Tied at 23-23, Aranda and Reis Levy traded kills over the next five points, sending the match to extra points tied at 25-25. After kills from Reis Levy and Robidoux evened things at 26-26, Bondarovsky rattled off two straight slams for Elms to capture the 28-26 win and three-set sweep.
The Blazers had three attackers with double-digit kills led by Reis Levy and Bondarovsky with 13 kills and two service aces each, while Crowe registered a career-high 10 kills. DeCosmo snared a match-high 12 digs, while freshman John Dunphy (Farmington, Conn.) recorded 39 assists.
Newbury was paced by a team-high 11 kills from Robidoux. Aranda added 10 kills and a team-high eight digs, while Holihan dished out a team-high 23 assists with three digs.
Match #2: MIT 3, Newbury 0 (25-14, 25-12, 25-17)
In the first set, MIT went ahead 5-3 on kills from freshman Skyler Kaufman (Needham, Mass.) and junior Martin Krasuski (Aurora, Ill.), but the Nighthawks grabbed control, 8-7, behind a trio of kills from junior Khalil Page (Baltimore, Md.). The Engineers regained control with an 8-2 run, powered by four straight kills from Krasuski, to take a 15-10 lead. Krasuski tacked on two kills and two service aces to extend the MIT lead to 19-13. Leading 20-14, the Engineers registered five straight points to close the 25-14 set win.
The Engineers momentum continued into the second set, securing a 10-3 lead behind two-kill efforts from freshman Matt Reilly (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) and junior Sean Kropp (Fairless Hills, Pa.). MIT built their advantage to 17-6 as Kaufman delivered four kills during a 7-3 run. The Engineers pushed the lead to 21-10 as Kropp knocked a pair of kills, and then locked up the 25-12 win with an ace from junior Jordan Lucier (Torrance, Calif.).
After MIT grabbed a 5-2 lead in the third set, Newbury battled back on kills from Robidoux and Page to capture a 7-5 advantage. The Newbury sandwiched kills from Robidoux and Aranda around miscues from the Engineers to extend to an 11-7 lead. MIT roared back with a 6-0 run, featuring three consecutive kills from Kaufman to regain a 13-11 lead. The Nighthawks used kills from Page and Aranda to remain within a point, but the Engineers took control with a 5-1 run, fueled by three kills from sophomore Tom Leech (Meadville, Pa.), to build a 19-14 advantage. Robidoux smashed back-to-back kills to trim the deficit to 19-16, but the Engineers wrapped up the sweep with a 6-1 run to take the 25-17 win.
Kaufman and Kropp powered the Engineers attack with 14 and 10 kills, respectively. Krasuski added eight kills, while senior Brendan Chang (Laytonsville, Md.) snared a match-high 11 digs. Freshman Yize Dong (Moraga, Calif.) tallied a match-high 39 assists with five digs.
Robidoux notched another double-digit kill performance with a team-10 kills and five digs. Paige chipped in five kills, while Aranda had four kills with a team-high six digs. Holihan doled out 17 assists in the loss.
Match #3: MIT 3, Elms 0 (25-15, 25-19, 25-21)
The Engineers controlled an early 9-3 lead in the first set as sophomore Andrew Hall (Lynnfield, Mass.) knocked a pair of kills. Reis Levy and Bondarovsky delivered points, followed by a kill and an ace from senior Angel Castro (Carolina, Puerto Rico) to cut the deficit to 11-7. Reis Levy and Crowe tallied two kills each to make it 16-11, as the Blazers tried to keep pace with MIT. The Engineers used kills from Reilly, Krasuski, and Kropp to maintain a 20-14 lead. MIT used a 5-1 run with three team kills to pick up the 25-15 win.
Elms held a 4-2 lead over MIT to open the second set. The Engineers evened things at 4-4, but Elms held an edge with kills from Castro and Reis Levy. MIT tied the score on a pair of aces from Reilly, and then pulled ahead 13-9 on a kill from Kropp. The Engineers pushed the lead to 16-12, but Elms pulled within two points, 16-14, on kills from Bondarovsky and junior Dervin Dimanche (Queens, N.Y.). MIT padded the lead with a 6-1 run. The Blazers used kills from Bondarovsky and Reis Levy to make it a 23-18 game, but the Engineers claimed the 25-19 win on a pair of kills from Krasuski.
MIT used a pair of kills from Kaufman to take a 5-0 lead to kick off the third set. Bondarovsky recorded a pair, followed by errors by the Engineers to cut the lead to 8-6, but MIT rebuilt a 12-6 advantage on miscues by Elms. A kill from Reis Levy capped a 4-2 spurt by the Blazers, where the Engineers responded with a 5-1 run, featuring back-to-back aces from Reilly, giving MIT a 19-11 lead. Elms mounted a final comeback with a 9-4 run, featuring four team kills, to make it a 23-20 game. The Blazers efforts came up short as Kaufman and Reilly sandwiched kills around a smash from Reis Levy to complete the sweep with a 25-21 win.
Reis Levy powered the Elms attack with a double-double effort with match-highs in kills (12) and digs (10). Bondarovsky added seven kills and six digs, while Castro contributed six kills, three digs and two aces. Dunphy dished out 26 assists with three digs and two kills.
The Engineers were led by a team-high nine kills from Krasuski. Kaufman slammed eight kills, while Hall added six kills. Reilly and Kropp notched five kills each, while Dong recorded 29 assists. Reilly added a match-high seven service aces in the win.
The Blazers will return to action with a conference road trip to Endicott College Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. Newbury travels to Lesley for a conference tilt Tuesday night at 8:00 p.m. MIT heads to Emmanuel (Mass.) for an 8:00 p.m. match Tuesday night.