Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
BEVERLY, Mass. – The Elms College men's volleyball forced extra points in two sets during a four set battle against host Endicott College in a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) match at MacDonald Gymnasium Tuesday night. The Blazers fell to the Gulls, 3-1 (16-25, 26-24, 26-28, 18-25), to move to 10-9 on the season, and 2-4 in conference play, while Endicott remains unbeaten in league play at 5-0 and 10-8 overall.
In the first set, the Gulls used a kill from freshman Jeremy Doski (Sandy Hook, Conn.) and an ace from senior Alex Wasik (Milford, Mass.) to grab a 6-3 lead, followed by a kill from junior Daniel Toth (Glenwood, N.J.) to push the advantage to 9-3. Toth put away back-to-back kills, and then Wasik contributed two more kills to extend the lead to 16-7. The Blazers capitalized on errors from the Gulls and a kill from senior Angel Castro (Carolina, Puerto Rico) to trim the margin to 18-12. Endicott outpointed Elms, 7-4, behind two kills from senior John Osborne (Freehold, N.J.) to take the 25-16 win.
The Gulls maintained their momentum into the second set, jumping to an 8-3 lead on a pair of kills from Doski. The Blazers battled back with a 5-1 run, featuring two kills from sophomore Daniel Bondarovsky (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), to pull within a point, 9-8. Trailing 13-9, back-to-back kills from Bondarovsky sparked another 5-1 run which evened the set at 14-14. The squads battled back-and-forth for points, trading the lead four times and tying six times to an even 23-23. An ace from junior Tyler Willgoos (Newington, Conn.) put the Gulls a point from victory, but Elms rattled on a kill from junior Dervin Dimanche, followed by a pair of tandem blocks from Bondarovsky and junior Austin DeCosmo (Southwick, Mass.) to lock up the 26-24 win for Elms.
Endicott used kills from senior Dan Seaver (Milford, Mass.) and Toth to take an early 6-3 lead. Down 10-6, the Blazers closed the gap with a 4-1 run on kills from sophomore Gabriel Reis Levy (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). Errors by the Gulls tied the match at 13-13, followed by a kill from Castro to hand Elms a 14-13 advantage. The Blazers held a point lead on kills from DeCosmo and Reis Levy, but Endicott kept close on two slams from Wasik. A kill from Castro put Elms up 23-22, but the Gulls pulled ahead, 24-23, as Toth delivered consecutive kills. The Blazers forced extra points on kills from Castro and Reis Levy, but Elms errors gave Endicott the 28-26 win.
In the fourth set, the squads exchanged points with Endicott going ahead 7-5 until the Blazers rallied to capture a 9-8 lead. The Gulls regained control with a 6-2 run, followed by a 5-3 spurt to gain a 19-14 advantage. Endicott outscored Elms, 6-4, featuring three kills from Wasik, to close out the 25-18 win and the four-set match victory.
The Blazers had a trio of attackers with double-digit kills, led by a match-high 16 kills and a tied match-high 10 digs from Reis Levy, his second double-double of the season. Bondarovsky tallied 11 kills with seven digs and a match-high seven blocks. Castro added 10 kills and nine digs, while freshman John Dunphy (Farmington, Conn.) recorded 38 assists with four digs.
Sophomore Troy Riorden (Fairport, N.Y.) powered the Gulls with a team-high 15 kills and 10 digs. Wasik registered a double-double with 10 kills and 10 digs, while Toth chipped in 11 kills and two blocks. Senior Cameron Little (San Diego, Calif.) racked up a match-high 47 assists.
The Blazers will look to return to the win column with a non-conference road trip to MIT on March 15 for a 6:00 p.m. match.