Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Elms College men's volleyball team battled host Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in a non-conference match at the Rockwell Cage Tuesday night. The Blazers move to 10-10 overall, while MIT improved to 19-6 on the season.
In the first set, the Engineers jumped to an early 6-0 lead behind three kills from sophomore Tavish Smith (Laguna Beach, Calif.). MIT used kills from freshmen Matt Reilly (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) and Skyler Kaufman (Needham, Mass.) to push their lead to 10-4. Trailing 11-4, the Blazers rallied back with a 5-2 run, featuring a pair of service aces from senior Angel Castro (Carolina, Puerto Rico) to cut the deficit to 13-9. Elms kept pace with the Engineers with two kills from junior Qua'Sean Crowe (Stamford, Conn.), while Smith and Kaufman tallied points for MIT. Leading 16-12, the Engineers pulled away from the Blazers with 6-1 run to extend the lead to 22-13. MIT closed out the 25-16 win on a pair of kills from junior Martin Krasuski (Aurora, Ill.).
The Blazers rebounded to grab a 6-3 lead over MIT in the second set, but the Engineers pulled even at 7-7. The squads exchanged points with MIT holding a 13-12 edge over Elms. The Engineers controlled the rest of the set, outscoring the Blazers 12-1 over the final 13 points, led by Kaufman at the service line with three aces and a kill.
Elms posted another strong start to the third set, taking a 7-4 lead on kills from sophomore Gabriel Reis Levy (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Crowe, but again MIT trimmed the deficit to 8-7. The teams traded points with Crowe, Castro, and sophomore Daniel Bondarovsky (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) recording kills, while MIT junior Sean Kropp (Fairless Hills, Pa.) knocked three straight kills to give the Engineers a 13-12 lead. A kill from Elms junior Dervin Dimanche (Queens, N.Y.) knotted the score at 15-15, but three straight points from MIT regained an 18-15 advantage for the Engineers. The Blazers used a kill from Castro to pull Elms within two, 20-18, but the Engineers wrapped up the three-set sweep with five straight points to pick up the 25-18.
The Blazers were led by a team-high six kills, three digs and two blocks from Reis Levy. Crowe notched five kills and three blocks, while Castro tallied three kills, three aces and two blocks. Freshman John Dunphy (Farmington, Conn.) dished out 19 assists with four digs in the loss.
Krasuski paced the Engineers with a match-high seven kills. Kropp added six kills and two blocks, while Smith recorded five kills. Kaufman had four kills and a match-high three aces, and freshman Yize Dong (Moraga, Calif.) distributed a match-high 28 assists with five digs.
The Blazers will be back on the court in a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) match against Regis College Thursday at 7:00 p.m. at Picknelly Arena. The Engineers travels to Endicott College for a non-conference match on March 31st at 6:00 p.m.