Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
CHICOPEE, Mass. – The Elms College men's volleyball halted their losing skid by collecting a three-set sweep of visiting Lesley University in a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) match at Picknelly Arena Wednesday night. The Blazers improve to 11-13 overall and 3-6 in the NECC, while Lesley drops to 0-7 in league play and 0-13 on the season.
In the first set, the Blazers raced to a 4-1 lead behind four kills from senior Angel Castro (Carolina, Puerto Rico). Elms sophomore Gabriel Reis Levy (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) tallied a trio of kills to help push the Blazers advantage to 12-6. Leading 15-8, Blazers sophomore Daniel Bondarovsky (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) contributed three kills and service ace over the Blazers next six points to push the lead to 21-10. Elms wrapped up the 25-11 set with on a pair of aces from Castro.
Play was tight early in the first set with Elms grabbing a 3-1 lead on kills from freshman Jequan Rogers (Springfield, Mass.), but Lesley used a kill and ace from junior Tyler Burns (Newtown, Pa.) to capture a 6-5 advantage. The Blazers regain control with a 6-0 run, followed by a kill from Bondarovsky to hand Elms a 12-8 lead. Errors plagued the next run of points, and then an ace from Elms freshman John Dunphy (Farmington, Conn.) made it a 17-10 game. The Blazers outscored the Lynx 8-4 to close the set, powered by three kills from junior Dervin Dimanche (Queens, N.Y.) to give the Blazers a 25-14 win.
The Lynx jumped to a 4-3 lead in the third set behind a pair of kills from Burns. The Blazers took back control with a 7-1 run to build a 10-5 lead. The Lynx trimmed the deficit to 12-7 on a kill from senior Chris Barletta (Valrico, Fla.), but Elms maintained control behind kills from sophomore Kahlil Peters (Hartford, Conn.) and senior Jamaal Gary (Bloomfield, Conn.). Trailing 17-9, the Lynx chipped away with a 7-1 run to close the gap to two points, 18-16. The Blazers responded with a strike from Bondarovsky and an ace from Castro, followed by a tally from Peters to take a 22-17 lead. Elms wrapped up the win with an ace from junior Austin DeCosmo (Southwick, Mass.) and a kill from Peters to claim the 25-19 victory.
Bondarovsky paced the Blazers attack with a match-high 12 kills and nine digs. Castro recorded nine kills, eight digs and four aces, while Dimanche notched four kills. Dunphy dished out a match-high 22 assists, while Peters registered 11 assists and three kills off the bench.
Lesley junior Jacob DiDomenico (North Providence, R.I.) led the Lynx with a team-high seven kills and four digs. Burns and Barletta delivered dive kills each, while Burns snared a match-high 11 digs and two aces. Senior C. Jay Sutton (Billerica, Mass.) totaled 16 assists with four digs.
The Blazers will return to the court in their home finale against Fontbonne Thursday night at Picknelly Arena at 7:00 p.m. Elms will honor their departing seniors prior to the game. Lesley hosts Fontbonne Friday night at 8:00 p.m.