Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
BEVERLY, Mass. – The Elms College men's volleyball squad suffered a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) setback to host Endicott College, 3-1 (15-25, 16-25, 25-18, 21-25), at the MacDonald Gymnasium Wednesday night. The Blazers dip to 14-8 on the season, and 6-3 in conference play, while Endicott moves to 6-0 in the NECC and 13-9 overall.
In the first set, the Gulls grabbed a 4-1 lead on a service ace from junior Troy Riorden (Fairport, N.Y.), but the Blazers answered with a kill from junior Gabriel Reis Levy (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and an ace by sophomore John Dunphy (Farmington, Conn.). The Gulls regained control with a 10-4 run, featuring tallies from sophomore Seth Braquet (Destrehan, La.) and freshman Bryn Lipton (Rockford, Ill.), to double up Elms, 14-7. After exchanging points, Endicott pulled away with a 6-2 run, followed by a pair of kills from Riorden to secure the 25-15 win.
The Gulls jumped on the Blazers early in the second frame, racing to a 9-1 advantage on strikes from Riorden, Lipton and senior Daniel Toth (Glenwood, N.J.). Elms worked the deficit to 9-5, but Endicott rattled off seven straight points to harness a 16-5 lead. The Blazers traded points with the Gulls behind kills from junior Daniel Bondarovsky (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and senior Austin DeCosmo (Southwick, Mass.) to trim the gap to 19-11. Riorden and Toth added kills to push the Gulls ahead 22-12, and then a strike from Braquet locked up the 25-16 win.
The Blazers rebounded in the third set, securing a 7-3 lead, sparked by back-to-back kills from Bondarovsky, along with tallies from Reis Levy and DeCosmo. Endicott used kills from sophomore Matt Bozek (Exeter, N.H.) and senior Tyler Willgoos (Newington, Conn.) to cut the Elms advantage to 9-7. Tied at 10-10, the Blazers netted three straight points, but the Gulls responded with a 5-2 run to keep things knotted at 15-15. The Blazers created separation with a 6-2 run, featuring a kill and an ace from Bondarovsky, to pull ahead 21-17. Elms capitalized on Gulls errors, along with a slam from Bondarovsky, to capture the 25-19 win.
Play was close in the onset of the fourth set as Elms junior Blake Fry (Natick, Mass.) and Lipton exchanged kills to give the Blazers a 6-5 edge. Bondarovsky and Braquet traded aces at the service line to keep the match tied at 10-10, and the sides exchanged eight straight kills as the Gulls pulled ahead 14-13. Consecutive kills from Lipton and freshman Tim Fieseler (Bridgewater, N.J.) helped Endicott hold a 16-15 lead, but a kill from Elms senior Dervin Dimanche (Queens, N.Y.) and a Gulls error handed the Blazers a 17-16 lead. Lipton knocked a kill to even the score at 17-17, and then delivered three service aces to push the Gulls ahead 22-17. Bondarovsky tallied a late kill to end the Gulls run, and Endicott errors put the Blazers within three points 24-21, but a kill from Toth wrapped up the 3-1 victory.
Bondarovsky paced the Blazers attack with a team-high nine kills, a team-high 14 digs and three aces. Reis Levy added six kills and a block, while Fry and senior Qua'Sean Crowe (Stamford, Conn.) recorded five kills apiece. Dunphy dished out a match-high 21 assists with five digs, and freshman Audrye Alejandro (Las Piedras, P.R.) grabbed nine digs in the loss.
Endicott was led by a match-high 11 kills and nine digs from Riorden. Lipton contributed nine kills, three aces, three blocks and two digs. Freshman Chad Riorden (Fairport, N.Y.) had 18 assists, while sophomore Adam Dake (Victor, N.Y.) added 14 assists off the bench. Sophomore Ryan Healy (Fair Lawn, N.J.) snared a match-high 19 digs in the win.
The Blazers will look to return the win column when they host Regis College in an NECC tilt at Picknelly Arena Saturday at 1:00 p.m. Endicott travels to Regis Thursday night in NECC action at 6:00 p.m.