Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Elms College men's volleyball split a pair of matches at a non-conference tri-match at the Rockwell Cage Saturday afternoon. The Blazers fell to host MIT, 3-0 (17-25, 21-25, 21-25), and then swept John Jay, 3-0 (25-15, 25-22, 25-20). The Blazers move to 8-5 on the season, while MIT sits at 15-3 and John Jay drops to 4-5.
Match 1: MIT 3, Elms 0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-22)
Against MIT, the sides were tied at 5-5 in the first set until a 6-2 run put the Engineers up 12-7. The Blazers responded with a 5-1 run to close the gap to 13-12, but MIT pulled away with a 5-0 run. Elms pulled within three points, 18-15, but the Engineers wrapped the frame on a 7-2 run to post the 25-17 win. Knotted at 5-5 in the second set, the Engineers used a 10-4 run to develop a 15-9 advantage. The Blazers rallied behind an 8-4 run to pull within two points, 19-17. The Blazers whittled the deficit to 21-20, but the Engineers used a 4-1 run to deliver the 25-22 set victory. In the final set, Elms pulled ahead to a 10-6 lead, and eventually expanded their advantage to 14-9. MIT pulled even at 16-16 with a 7-2 run, but the Blazers maintained a 20-19 edge late in the set. The Engineers mounted a late comeback with a 6-1 run down the stretch to complete the sweep with a 25-21 win.
Elms junior Gabriel Reis Levy (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) led the Blazers attack with a match-high 14 kills. Classmate Daniel Bondarovsky (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) tallied eight kills, eight digs, two service aces and two blocks, while freshman David Hernandez (Springfield, Mass.) logged seven kills and four digs. Sophomore John Dunphy (Farmington, Conn.) dished out 27 assists with six digs and two kills, and freshman Audrye Alejandro (Las Piedras, P.R.) grabbed a match-high nine digs in the loss.
Match 2: Elms 3, John Jay 0 (25-15, 25-22, 25-20)
In the opening set against the Bloodhound, the Blazers jumped to an 8-4 lead, and then powered to an 8-2 run, expanding the lead to 16-6. John Jay chipped the lead to 17-9, but Elms used a 6-3 run down the stretch to roll to the 25-15 set win. Play was closes to open the second set as the sides found themselves tied at 7-7. The Blazers outpointed the Bloodhounds to develop a 13-10 advantage, but John Jay kept within a point at 16-15.A 6-2 run by the Bloodhounds regained a 21-19 lead for John Jay, but Elms battled back with 6-1 run down the stretch to lock up the 25-22 win. Tied 7-7 in the third set, the Blazers maintained a slim edge over the Bloodhounds to build a 14-11 lead. A teams exchanged points through the middle of the set with Elms holding a 21-18 lead. John Jay cut the deficit to two, 21-19, until the Blazers responded with a 4-1 run to post the sweep.
Bondarovsky and Reis Levy delivered double-digit kills in the win. Bondarovsky registered a match-high 11 kills with five digs, while Reis Levy notched 10 kills and seven digs. Hernandez added five kills and four digs, Dunphy logged 28 assists and four digs, and Alejandro snared a match-high eight digs.
The Blazers will return to the court with a New England Collegiate Conference road trip to Southern Vermont College Tuesday night for a 7:00 p.m. match.