Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
CHICOPEE, Mass. – The Elms College men's volleyball team posted a pair of victories over visiting Lesley University and Dean College in a tri-match at Picknelly Arena Saturday afternoon. The Blazers downed the Lynx, 3-0 (25-12, 25-9, 25-17), in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) clash, and then swept the Bulldogs, 3-0 (25-7, 25-10, 25-5), to wrap up the event. The Lynx defeated the Bulldogs, 3-1 (25-15, 25-11, 22-25, 25-19) during the middle match.
With the win, the Blazers improve to 11-7 on the season, and 3-2 in conference play, while Lesley moves to 0-5 in the NECC and 1-13 overall, and Dean sits with a 2-13 record.
Match 1: Elms 3, Lesley 0 (25-12, 25-9, 25-17)
Play was close in the early phase of the first set with Lesley grabbing a 4-3 lead on a strike from senior Jacob DiDomenico (North Providence, R.I.), but the Blazers regained a 9-8 lead behind kills from senior Devin Dimanche (Queens, N.Y.) and junior Blake Fry (Natick, Mass.). A pair of kills from Fry, followed by tallies from seniors Austin DeCosmo (Southwick, Mass.) and Qua'Sean Crowe (Stamford, Conn.) extended the Elms advantage to 16-10. Lesley senior Jason Hulteen (Galena, Ohio) added late kills for the Lynx, but slams by junior Kahlil Peters (Hartford, Conn.), Dimanche and DeCosmo sealed the 25-12 win.
The Blazers used a pair of kills from Fry and junior Daniel Bondarovsky (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) to harness an 8-3 lead in the second set. Bondarovsky and Crowe delivered aces from the service line to push the Elms advantage to 13-5. The Blazers pulled away from the Lynx behind a pair of kills from Bondarovsky and a pair of aces from DeCosmo to possess a 20-7 lead. Elms wrapped up the 25-9 victory as Bondarovsky registered two more aces and kill.
Lesley controlled the scoreboard to open the third set as two kills from DiDomenico gave the Lynx to 6-3 lead. A trio of tallies from Hulteen helped Lesley maintain an 13-8 advantage, but the Blazers worked at the gap and three service aces from Peters regained a 15-13 lead for Elms. Another kills from Hulteen set the score at 17-17 until an ace and kill from senior Aaron Fogle (Queens Village, N.Y.) sandwiched a strike from Fry to push the Blazers ahead 21-17. Leading 22-17, Elms closed out the match behind three straight kills from Peters to secure the 25-17 win.
The Blazers orchestrated a balanced attack with four players recording five-plus kills. DeCosmo notched a team-high six kills with a match-high eight digs and three aces. Fry posted a career-high six kills with four digs, while Bondarovsky recorded five kills, five digs, and a match-high four aces. Peters dished out a season-high 25 assists with four kills, three digs and three aces.
Match 2: Elms 3, Dean 0 (25-7, 25-10, 25-5)
The Blazers opened the first set with an 8-2 lead as four Blazers posted five kills, behind a pair from junior Gabriel Reis Levy (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). Strikes from Bondarovsky, Crowe and Reis Levy advanced the Elms lead to 16-5. Following a Bulldogs timeout, Reis Levy powered the Blazers to a 25-7 set victory with four kills down the stretch.
Elms jumped to a 5-0 lead in the second set, and then a pair of kills from DeCosmo escorted the advantage to 9-3. Kills from Crowe and Peters sandwiches miscues from the Bulldogs as the Blazers saw their lead swell to 13-6. Fry picked up a kill and an ace for Elms, followed by a strike from DeCosmo, to build a 19-10 gap. Leading 21-10, the Blazers closed the frame with four straight kills, featuring a pair from DeCosmo, to lock up the 25-10 win.
Peters fired a pair of aces from the service line to hand Elms a 5-0 lead in the third set. After a kill from Fogle, Dean answered with strikes from sophomore Justin Freitas (North Attleboro, Mass.) and senior Moussa Seck (Cambridge, Mass.) to cut the lead to 7-3. Leading 9-4, the Blazers executed a 15-1 run to put the Bulldogs away, sparked by two kills from Crowe. DeCosmo set up shop at the service line during the Elms run, registering four aces, while Fry and Crowe added kills as the Blazers finished the dominant 25-5 win.
Reis Levy posted a match-high seven kills with four kills in only one set of action. Dimanche, Crowe and DeCosmo recorded six kills apiece. DeCosmo added 10 digs and four aces, while Dimanche had three blocks and Crowe chipped in three digs. Peters totaled 15 assists, sophomore John Dunphy (Farmington, Conn.) had 12 assist, and freshman Audrye Alejandro (Las Piedras, P.R.) grabbed a match-high 12 digs.
The Blazers will return to the court with an NECC road trip to Newbury College March 14 for a 7:00 p.m. match.