Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
CHICOPEE, Mass. – The Elms College women's volleyball team remained unbeaten in conference play, capturing a 3-0 (25-11, 25-21, 25-18) victory over visiting Becker College in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) play at Picknelly Arena Wednesday night. The Blazers rise to 16-9 overall, and 6-0 in the NECC, while Becker slides to 3-3 in league play, and 11-15 on the season.
After surrendering the first point of the match on a service ace from Becker senior Charlene Landry (Gorham, Maine), the Blazers rattled off nine straight points, featuring two kills from junior Danielle Redding (Las Vegas, N.V.) and freshman Ayanna Meadows (Springfield, Mass.), to harness a 9-1 lead. The Blazers powered ahead 16-6 behind a trio of kills from sophomore Hannah Adams (Deerfield, Mass.). Leading 18-9, Elms outscored Becker, 7-2, behind kills from Redding and freshman Hannah Pichardo (South Glen Falls, N.Y.) to close out the 25-11 win.
Becker held a 5-2 lead early in the second set as sophomore Morgan Gould (North Attleboro, Mass.) and junior Kayla Dupree (North Bergen, N.J.) logged kills. The Blazers worked at the deficit with kills from Redding and then a strike from Adams evened the score at 9-9. Trailing 13-11, the Hawks regained a 16-14 advantage on tallies from sophomores Gillian Criddle (Earleville, Md.) and Michaela Rice (Charlton, Mass.), but the Blazers responded as kills from Meadows and freshman Dakota Stewart (Victoria, Texas) bookended a 9-0 run by Elms to hold a 24-17 lead. The Hawks added four late points to close the gap, but a service error handed the Blazers the 25-21 win.
Play was close through the early stages of the final set as the squads traded the lead four times until a kill from Redding evened the match at 11-11. The Blazers notched four points on three straight kills from Stewart, Redding and junior Rachel Magnuson (Miller Place, N.Y.). Becker whittled the gap to 17-15 on slams from Criddle and Rice, but Elms used a 5-1 run to rebuild a 22-16 advantage. After exchanging points, the Blazers locked up the 25-18 win behind strikes from Pichardo and Adams.
The Blazers offense was paced by double-double efforts from Redding and Meadows. Redding tallied a match-high 11 kills with 15 digs and two aces, while Meadows logged a match-high 11 kills and 10 digs. Adams grabbed a team-high 19 digs with nine kills, while Stewart dished out a match-high 34 assists with six kills and six digs. Pichardo added five kills and seven digs, and junior Caroline Locke (West Springfield, Mass.) snared 16 digs in the win.
Rice and Dupree led the Hawks attack with five kills apiece. Landry posted a double-double with 14 assists and 12 digs, while sophomore Sofia Cullina (Deep River, Conn.) totaled a match-high 23 digs in the loss.
The Blazers will wrap up their regular season schedule with an NECC tilt at Lesley University Saturday at 6:00 p.m. Becker hosts Mitchell College in NECC action in their regular season finale Saturday at Noon.