Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
WESTON, Mass. – The Elms College men's volleyball team will return to the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Championship match for the first time since 2013 after claiming a 3-1 victory over host Regis College in the semifinals of the NECC Championship Tournament Thursday night at Higgins Court.
With the victory, the third-seed Blazers (18-9) will travel to top-seeded Endicott College (20-10) for the Championship match Saturday at 2:00 p.m.
Elms junior Daniel Bondarovsky (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) powered the Blazers attack with a season-high 19 kills, along with a match-high six blocks and two digs. Classmate Gabriel Reis Levy (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) posted a double-double with 12 kills and a match-high 10 digs, while freshman David Hernandez (Springfield, Mass.) added nine kills in the win. Sophomore John Dunphy (Farmington, Conn.) orchestrated the Blazers offense with 31 assists and seven digs.
The Regis attack featured two players with double-digit kills, paced by a team-high 12 kills from junior Brett Krahl (Santa Clarita, Calif.). Junior Marcos Aguirre (Norwalk, Calif.) tallied 10 kills with four digs, while senior Manny Santiago (Bristol, Conn.) and junior Jeff Ramos (Pawtucket, R.I.) chipped in four kills each. Senior Joe Hanrahan (Coventry, R.I.) totaled a match-high 44 assists with six digs in the loss.
Regis raced to a 1-0 lead in the match, capturing a 25-16 win in the first set behind five kills from Krahl. The Blazers settled in and won the next three sets to punch their ticket to the NECC Championship match. The Blazers evened the score at 1-1 with a 27-25 victory in the second set, paced by seven kills from Bondarovsky. Elms pulled ahead 2-1 after posting a 25-23 win behind six kills from Bondarovsky and five kills from Hernandez. The Blazers wrapped up the victory with a 25-18 win in the final set, featuring two kills apiece from Reis Levy, Bondarovsky and Hernandez.