Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
BOSTON, Mass. – The Elms College men's volleyball team battled past host Emmanuel College in straight sets, 3-0 (28-26, 27-25, 25-23), in a non-conference match at Andy Yosinoff Court Thursday night. The Blazers improve to 7-4 on the season, while the Saints slide to 4-8 overall.
After the Saints grabbed a 3-1 lead to open the first set, the Blazers outpointed Emmanuel, 9-4, behind kills from junior Daniel Bondarovsky (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and senior Austin DeCosmo (Southwick, Mass.), to grab a 10-7 advantage. A pair of service aces from Emmanuel sophomore Erik English (Simi Valley, Calif.) evened the score at 11-11 until kills from Bondarovsky and senior Qua'Sean Crowe (Stamford, Conn.) pushed Elms ahead 16-13. Strikes from English knotted the score at 21-21, but the Blazers answered with back-to-back kills from freshman David Hernandez (Springfield, Mass.), followed by a kill from Bondarovsky to give the Blazers a 23-21 lead. The Saints rallied with three consecutive points to sit within a point of a set win, but Emmanuel errors put Elms up 25-24, and then two points by the Saints put them on the brink of victory again. The Blazers preserved with a kill from DeCosmo, followed by consecutive kills from Hernandez to lock up the 28-26 win.
The Blazers powered ahead 7-2 in the second set as Hernandez notched two more kills. Emmanuel chipped away at the deficit with a 7-5 run, capped by strikes from freshman Max Gottuso (Long Beach, N.Y.) and English, to close the gap to 12-9. Elms began to pull away with a 6-1 run, fueled by an ace and kill from sophomore John Dunphy (Farmington, Conn.), to grab an 18-10 advantage. After the sides traded points, kills from Bondarovsky and Dunphy maintained a 22-15 lead for Elms. Trailing 23-17, Emmanuel stormed back into the match with an 8-1 run, featuring a pair of kills and a solo block from English, to gain a 25-24 lead. After an Emmanuel error tied the match at 25-25, the Blazers wrapped up the 27-25 set win with kills from Bondarovsky and Crowe.
Elms controlled the scoreboard early in the third set as a trio of kills from Bondarovsky guided the Blazers to a 10-8 lead. Emmanuel rallied to a 12-10 advantage, and then capitalized on Blazers errors to build a 17-12 lead. Down 18-13, Elms clawed back with a kill and a pair of aces from Bondarovsky to even the score at 18-18. Kills from Bondarovsky kept Elms within a point, and then a strike from Hernandez put the Blazers on top 22-21. Emmanuel took a 23-22 lead late in the set, but Elms secured the 25-23 win behind Saints errors to complete the sweep.
Bondarovsky powered the Blazers attack with a match-high 14 kills, seven digs, and three aces. Hernandez delivered a career-high 11 kills with five digs, while DeCosmo added five kills and eight digs. Dunphy totaled a match-high 28 assists with seven digs and three kills, and freshman Audrye Alejandro (Las Piedras, P.R.) grabbed a match-high 13 digs in the win.
The Saints were led by English with a team-high 12 kills, a match-high four aces, and nine digs. Gottuso had six kills with two blocks, while freshmen Manuel Velez (San Jose, Costa Rica) and Justyn Schueler (Trumbull, Conn.) notched four kills apiece. Freshman Seamus McDonagh (Long Beach, N.Y.) dished out 26 assists with nine assists and four kills.
The Blazers will look to remain in the win column when they play at tri-match against MIT and John Jay Saturday afternoon at MIT at Noon and 2:00 p.m. The Saints host Mount Saint Vincent College Saturday at 3:00 p.m.