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Blazers Remain Unbeaten In NECC Play With 3-2 Win At NEC

Blazers Remain Unbeaten In NECC Play With 3-2 Win At NEC

HENNIKER, N.H. — The Elms College women's volleyball team remained unbeaten in New England Collegiate Conference play with a 3-2 win at New England College on Saturday. The win boosts the Blazers to 12-3 overall and 4-0 in NECC play, while NEC falls to 7-15 overall and 2-1 in the conference.

The Blazers were led by Danielle Redding  (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Ayanna Meadows (Springfield, Mass.), who both had 17 kills apiece. As a team, Elms compiled 59 kills and committed 25 errors for a .205 hitting percentage.

Kianna Lozada (Bayamon, P.R.) paced the Elms defense with 39 digs. Redding rounded out the double-double with 13 digs. Dakota Stewart (Victoria, Texas) dished out 50 assists in the victory.

Sophomore Dreka Griffin (Calera, Ala.) led NEC with 18 kills, followed by Tihani Ehia (Kaneohe, Hawaii) with 10 and Jessica Ostrov (Mililani, Hawaii) with seven. As a team, the Pilgrims tallied 47 kills and 27 errors for a .118 hitting percentage.

Defensively, Meaghan Six (Manchester, N.H.), Kenzie Barron (Clearfield, Utah), and Ehia all reached double-figures in digs with 16, 15, and 14, respectively.

The Blazers scored the first four points of the match before the Pilgrims got on the scoreboard, but NEC battled back to tie the score at 8-8 in the first. The score would remain close until late in the set when Elms broke open a 17-17 tie by scoring eight-straight points on the strength of Lozada's serving to take the 25-17 lead.

The Pilgrims turned it around in the second set and used a powerful block by Griffin late in the set to take a two-point lead at 23-21. The Pilgrims used an ace by Maggie Dadmun (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) and an error by Elms to take the second set, 25-21.

Entering the third set tied at 1-1, the Blazers used their best hitting of the day to tally a match-high 16 kills in the third set, hitting at .250. Despite the effort, the set was close, and Elms squeaked out the two-point win at 25-23.

NEC had their best hitting performance of the day in the fourth set as they committed just four errors along with 11 kills for a .200 hitting percentage. NEC trailed 16-12 midway through the set, but scored four-straight points on two aces by Barron and a kill by Ehia to tie the score at 16-16. The Pilgrims then flipped the advantage, taking a 21-18 lead, and scored the final three points of the game for the 25-20 win.

Elms controlled the decisive fifth set from the opening point and quickly took a 7-3 lead to force NEC into a timeout. The Pilgrims picked up a kill from Griffin out of the timeout but it was not enough, as Elms scored the next three points on two kills by Hannah Pichardo and an NEC attack error. Trailing 10-5, a costly service error by NEC put Elms just four points away from victory, and back-to-back Pilgrim attack errors gave the Blazers a 13-5 lead. NEC scored twice more but Elms sealed the win with a final kill by Rachel Magnuson.