Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
CHICOPEE, Mass. – The Elms College women's volleyball team dispatched visiting Fitchburg State University, 3-0 (25-15, 25-13, 25-18), in a non-conference match at Picknelly Arena Thursday night. With the win, the Blazers improve to 10-7 on the season, while the Falcons dip to 1-12 overall.
The Blazers jumped out to a 9-1 lead in the first set, paced by two service aces from junior Danielle Redding (Las Vegas. N.V.) and kills from sophomore Hannah Adams (Deerfield, Mass.) and freshman Dakota Stewart (Victoria, Texas.). The Falcons chipped away at the deficit with kills from juniors Kathryn Carroll (Shrewsbury, Mass.) and Nicole Sylvester (Everett, Mass.), but the Blazers regained control as Redding sandwiched a trio of kills around a tally and an ace from freshman Hannah Pichardo (South Glen Falls, N.Y.) to put the Blazers on top 19-8. Fitchburg added a late kill from Annie Woolley (Malden, Mass.) and an ace from senior Serene Pease (Ashland, Mass.), but the Blazers wrapped up the 25-15 win behind strikes from freshman Hayley Castanos (Santa Ana, Calif.), Redding and Pichardo.
Elms rolled to a 7-0 lead in the second set as Stewart served up a trio of aces. Adams notched three kills, along with an ace from Castanos, and then Stewart and freshman Ayanna Meadows (Springfield, Mass.) tallied back-to-back kills to escort the advantage to 16-3. Carroll recorded two kills for Fitchburg State, but strikes from Redding, Stewart and Meadows pushed Elms to the 25-13 win.
The Falcons secured their first lead of the match as an ace freshman Amy Coelho (Bellingham, Mass.) put Fitchburg State ahead 2-0 in the third set. The Blazers responded with eight straight points, featuring two aces from Stewart, to possess an 8-2 advantage. Redding added a kill and an ace to expand the gap to 12-4, but the Falcons answered with a 8-2 run, powered by three aces from senior Kathryn McGroarty (Quincy, Mass.), to close the gap to 14-12. Elms held the Falcons at bay behind tallies from Adams, Redding and Stewart, and then a strike from Meadows handed the Blazers a 21-15 lead. Elms closed out the victory with an ace from Redding and a kill from Castanos to secure the 25-18 win.
Redding paced the Blazers attack with a match-high 11 kills with six digs and five aces. Stewart stuffed the stat sheet with a match-high 22 assists, 11 digs, six kills and five aces. Adams grabbed a match-high 14 digs with five kills, while Meadows added six digs and four kills in the win.
Carroll led the Falcons with a team-high five kills. Sylvester chipped in three kills with eight digs, while Woolley and sophomore Kathryn Newcomb (Portsmouth, R.I.) tallied two kills each.
The Blazers will look to remain in the win column when they face Dean College and Maine-Fort Kent in a tri-match at Dean starting at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday.