Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
CHICOPEE, Mass. – The Elms College women's volleyball team dropped a pair of matches at the 2016 Elms College Blazer Invitational to open the 2016 season. The Blazers fell to Albertus Magnus, 3-0, and then battled SUNY-Cobleskill in a four set loss.
Albertus Magnus 3, Elms 0 (25-19, 25-20, 25-21)
In the first set, the Falcons jumped to an early 5-1 lead behind kills from senior Amber Cohens (West Haven, Conn.) and freshman Ashley David (West Islip, N.Y.). The Blazers rallied with five straight points to capture a 6-5 lead. No more than two points separate the squads in the middle of the set. Tied at 12-12, the Falcons build an 18-12 lead with six consecutive points. Elms sophomore Danielle Redding (Las Vegas, Nev.) halted the Falcons run with a kill, and then teamed up with freshman Gabby Holland (East Longmeadow, Mass.) on a block to cut the deficit to 18-14. The Blazers pulled within four points, 23-19, behind a pair of kills from freshman Hannah Adams (Deerfield, Mass.), but the Falcons held off the Blazers to grab a 25-19 win in the first set.
In the second set, Albertus Magnus took a 4-1 lead on a pair of kills from Cohens, along with a pair of service aces from junior Marielis Muriel (New Haven, Conn.). Elms battled back with six straight points, featuring two kills from Redding, to control an 8-4 advantage. The Falcons used a 7-2 run to grab an 11-10 lead until a kill from Adams evened the score at 11-11. After an ace from Adams put Elms ahead 14-13, the Falcons used a pair of aces from Muriel to rebuild a 17-14 lead. The Blazers trimmed the Falcons lead to one point down the stretch, but Albertus Magnus closed the set on a 4-1 run to secure the 25-20 win.
In the third set, the sides traded points and a service ace from Redding squared the set at 6-6. Redding tacked on two more aces as the Blazers rattled off five straight points to take a 9-6 lead. The Falcons roared back with a five-point run, powered by three kills from Ana Gomez (New Haven, Conn.), to regain a 12-9 advantage. Leading 13-12, Albertus Magnus pushed the advantage to 17-12 behind two service aces from Jesselle Guzman (Santa Teresa, N.M.). The Blazers capitalized on Falcon errors with an ace from junior Kate Moriarty (Agawam, Mass.) to pull within two points, 18-16. A service ace from Elms senior Carolyn Campbell (Millers Falls, Mass.) made the deficit 20-19, but the Falcons closed the door on the Blazers with four straight points en route to the 25-21 win.
The Blazers attack was led by Adams, who set a career-high with nine kills and five digs. Redding tallied eight kills with nine digs and four aces, while Moriarty and Holland chipped in four kills apiece. Campbell dished out 19 assists with a pair of aces, and sophomore Caroline Locke (West Springfield, Mass.) snared a match-high 17 digs.
Gomez recorded a game-high 10 kills to lead the Falcons. David had 12 digs with eight kills, while Guzman and freshman Tatiana Hernandez (New Haven, Conn.) totaled 13 digs each. Muriel logged a match-high 25 assists with a match-high five aces.
SUNY-Cobleskill 3, Elms 1 (21-25, 8-25, 25-21, 19-25)
The Fighting Tigers claimed an early 9-3 lead to open the first set behind five kills, including a pair from freshman Emily Potter (Fort Plain, N.Y.). The Blazers chipped away with four straight points featuring a kill and block from Adams and the sides remained close with a Cobleskill error pulling the Blazers within two points, 14-12. The Fighting Tigers created separation with a 7-2 run, capped off with an ace from freshman Katerina Weingarten (Cobleskill, N.Y.) to hand Cobleskill a 21-14 lead. The Blazers mounted a furious comeback, taking advantage of Cobleskill errors with kills from Redding and freshman Haley Asselin (South Hadley, Mass.) to make it a 22-21 game. The Fighting Tigers netted three straight points to close out the 25-21 win.
Cobleskill controlled the second set, racing to an 8-1 lead as Weingarten and sophomore Emilie Reimer (Mattituck, N.Y.) had a pair of kills. The Fighting Tigers propelled to an 18-5 lead with a 10-5 run behind a pair kills from Potter and senior Kasey Williams (Wallkill, N.Y.). Cobleskill outscored the Blazers 6-4 down the stretch to wrap up the 25-8 win.
The Fighting Tigers carried their momentum into the third set, possessing a 6-3 lead to open the stanza. The Blazers evened the score at 6-6 with a kill from Redding. Trailing 9-7, Elms notched four straight points to take an 11-9 lead. The Fighting Tigers used a 9-4 run, paced by four kills from Reimer, to regain an 18-15 advantage. The Blazers roared back as Redding delivered three consecutive aces followed by a kill from Holland to pull ahead 20-18. Adams and Moriarty added kills to help the Blazers maintain their edge en route to the 25-21 win.
Cobleskill opened the fourth set on a 4-0 run en route to a 10-4 lead. The Blazers whittled the Fighting Tigers lead behind an 8-5 run to make it a 15-12 match. Cobleskill kept the Blazers at bay with kills from Potter and sophomore Mackenzie Holbert (Sauquoit, N.Y.). Freshman Brittany Boyce (Rotterdam, N.Y.) and Reimer tallied kills to close out the 25-19 win.
Redding filled the stat sheet for the Blazers, posting 13 digs, six kills, three aces, two blocks, and two assists. Moriarty and Adams added five kills apiece, while Adams registered a career-high 13 digs. Locke had a team-high 18 digs, while Campbell doled out 13 assists.
Reimer and Williams led the Fighting Tigers with a double-double each. Reimer logged a match-high 13 kills with 13 digs, while Williams chipped in 12 kills and 10 digs with three blocks. Boyce and Potter recorded nine kills each. Holbert contributed a match-high 42 assists with seven digs and three aces, and senior Gabby Clark (Oneida, N.Y.) snared a match-high 25 digs.
The teams will be back in action for the final day of competition at the Blazer Invitational on Saturday. Day two opens with Cobleskill versus Albertus Magnus at 10:00 a.m. The Blazers will return to the court Saturday against York at 2:00 p.m.