Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
CHICOPEE, Mass. – The Elms College men's volleyball squad battled visiting Endicott College in a three-set loss, falling to the Gulls, 26-28, 17-25, 16-25, in a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) clash at Picknelly Arena Saturday afternoon. The Blazers dip to 9-6 on the season, and 2-1 in conference play, while Endicott improves to 3-0 in the NECC and 8-8 overall.
A pair of kills from junior Gabriel Reis Levy (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) handed the Blazers an early 2-1 lead in the first set, but Endicott responded with a 6-1 run behind two kills from freshman Donovan Dey (Fairport, N.Y.) to grab a 7-3 advantage. Elms battled back with strikes from Reis Levy and junior Daniel Bondarovsky (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) to pull even at 10-10. The sides traded points until a kills from Bondarovsky and freshman David Hernandez (Springfield, Mass.) put Elms ahead 17-15. The Gulls capitalized on errors by the Blazers, along with a kill and a block from freshman Tim Fieseler (Bridgewater, N.J.) to regain a 20-18 advantage. Tied at 21-21, a block by Endicott senior Daniel Toth (Glenwood, N.J.) put the Gulls ahead until a strike from Hernandez evened things at 23-23. Dey sandwiched kills around a tally from Bondarovsky, and then Fieseler and Bondarovsky exchanged kills to set the score at 26-26. Endicott freshman Bryn Lipton (Rockford, Ill.) delivered a kill followed by a Blazers error to capture the 28-26 set win.
In the second set, the Blazers tied the score at 6-6 on a kill from Hernandez, but the Gulls rattled off a 7-2 run, featuring four Endicott kills, to pull ahead 13-8. The Gulls expanded their advantage to 17-9 after a double block from Toth and Lipton, and maintained a 19-10 edge after a pair of kills from Dey. Elms worked away at the deficit with strikes from Hernandez and senior Qua'Sean Crowe (Stamford, Conn.) but a pair of kills from Endicott senior Troy Riorden (Fairport, N.Y.) helped the Gulls to the 25-17 win.
Play was close early in the third set as Lipton and Bondarovsky traded kills, but Lipton added another kill and an ace to hold an 8-4 edge. The Blazers closed the gap to 10-8 behind a kill from Dunphy and a block from Bondarovsky. The Gulls kept the Blazers at bay with a 7-4 run behind kills from Lipton, sophomore Seth Braquet (Destrehan, La.) and senior Ryan Sutherland (Fairport, N.Y.). Back-to-back strikes from Riorden and Dey pushed Endicott ahead 20-14, and then Dey sandwiched kills around a strike from Reis Levy en route to the 25-16 set victory.
Reis Levy and Bondarovsky paced the Blazers offense with 10 and nine kills, respectively. Bondarovsky added seven digs and three blocks, while Hernandez delivered four kills and three digs. Sophomore John Dunphy (Farmington, Conn.) recorded a team-high 22 assists with four digs, and freshman Audrye Alejandro (Las Piedras, P.R.) grabbed a team-high nine digs.
Dey posted a tied match-high 10 kills to lead the Gulls attack. Lipton notched eight kills with nine digs and two aces, and Riorden chipped in seven kills with three digs. Freshman Chad Riorden (Fairport, N.Y.) dished out a match-high 23 assists, and sophomore Ryan Healy (Fair Lawn, N.J.) registered a match-high 10 digs in the win.
The Blazers will look to return to the win column with a NECC road trip to Regis College Wednesday night for a 7:00 p.m. match. Endicott hosts Newbury College in NECC action Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m.