Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
CHICOPEE, Mass. – The Elms College men's volleyball team fell to visiting Regis College in a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) match at Picknelly Arena Thursday night. The Pride defeated the Blazers, 3-1 (26-28, 25-17, 25-13, 25-13) to improve to 9-10 overall and 6-2 in conference play, while Elms drops to 2-5 in league standings and 10-11 on the season.
In the first set, the Pride grabbed an early 8-3 lead behind service aces from juniors Sean Bisnett (Oxnard, Calif.) and Brandon Tordoff (Coventry, R.I.). The Blazers chipped away at the deficit behind a 9-3 run, featuring a pair of kills from senior Angel Castro (Carolina, Puerto Rico) and sophomore Gabriel Reis Levy (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), to make it a 14-11 game. Elms continued to whittle the gap and back-to-back aces from junior Austin DeCosmo (Southwick, Mass.) capped a 9-4 run to hand the Blazers a 20-18 lead. The teams exchanged points down the stretch, trading the lead three times and tying six times to send the match to extra points. Castro sandwiched kills around a strike from Regis sophomore Brett Krahl (Santa Clarita, Calif.) to put Elms ahead 27-26, and a Regis attack error gave the Blazers the 28-26 win.
Play was tight in the early stages of the second set with a pair of kills from sophomore Jeff Ramos (Pawtucket, R.I.) paced Regis to a 6-5 lead. Kills from sophomore Daniel Bondarovsky (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Reis Levy kept Elms within a point, 8-7, but the Pride pulled ahead with a 6-3 run to take a 16-10 lead. Two kills from Bondarovsky and errors from Regis cut the lead to 17-15. The Pride rebuilt a 23-17 advantage, as four consecutive errors by Elms helped Regis to the 25-17 set victory.
The Blazers took a 4-3 lead in the third set until back-to-back kills from Regis sophomore Marcos Aguirre (Norwalk, Calif.) grabbed a 5-4 lead for the Pride. Castro, Reis Levy, and junior Qua'Sean Crowe (Stamford, Conn.) notched kills for Elms, while Regis answered with strikes from junior Zach Sindoni (Haverhill, Mass.) and Bisnett to maintain a 10-8 lead for the Pride. Regis padded their advantage with 7-3 run to pull ahead 17-11. DeCosmo and Reis Levy recorded kills to cut the lead to 18-13, but the Pride capitalized on five Elms errors to close out the 25-13 win.
Regis claimed an 8-3 lead to open play in the final set. A service ace from Castro put Elms within four points, 10-6, but Regis raced ahead behind a 6-1 run to possess a 16-7 advantage. The Pride continued to pull away, outscoring Elms 6-2 over the next eight points, fueled by three kills from freshman Drew Beimel (Redondo Beach, Calif., to hold a 22-9 lead. Bondarovsky blocked a pair of shots for Elms in the final points, but the gap was too much as a kill from Krahl sealed the 25-13 win.
Castro powered the Blazers attack behind a double-double effort with a match-high 11 kills and 10 digs. Bondarovsky notched seven kills, eight digs and three blocks, while Reis Levy snared a match-high 11 digs with six kills. Freshman John Dunphy (Farmington, Conn.) dished out 27 assists with nine digs in the loss.
The Pride had five players record five-plus kills, led by a team-high eight kills and nine digs from Bisnett. Beimel had seven kills, seven digs and three blocks, while Krahl and Ramos tallied six kills apiece. Aguirre added five kills off the bench. Sindoni logged a double-double with a match-high 29 assists and 10 digs.
The Blazers will be back on the court when they host a tri-match at Picknelly Arena Saturday afternoon. Elms hosts Daniel Webster in NECC play at 1:00 p.m., followed by a clash with Bard at 5:00 p.m. Regis hosts City College of New York Saturday at 3:00 p.m. at Higgins Court.