Henniker, NH – The Elms College women's volleyball team lost in the New England Collegiate Conference semi-finals on Friday night at New England College. The set scores were (18-25, 25-18, 23-25, 25-17, and 13-15).
The Pilgrims came out firing on all cylinders as they took an early 4-0 lead and forced the Blazers to call a timeout to regroup. Right out of the timeout Elms was able to get on the board but New England College stayed hot as they were able to extend their lead to 10-4. The Blazers were then able to find some momentum as they took a 4-2 run to bring things to 12-8. From there both teams traded points but the Pilgrims were able to keep the pressure and the lead as they forced another Elms timeout at 19-12. The Blazers were then able to fight back some but NEC was able to hold on to the lead and take the first set with a 25-18 win.
The second was tightly contested out of the gates as both teams trading points leading to an early 3-3 tie. The Blazers then took a 3-0 run for a 6-3 lead as the Pilgrims called a timeout to regroup. The timeout proved to be successful for New England College as they came out with a 6-3 run to tie things back up at 9-9 and force an Elms timeout. The score was then pushed ton 17-17 with strong efforts from both teams but neither able to gain much of an edge. Despite the tightly-contested nature of the set, the Blazers were able to gain some momentum and take 7-1 run to take the second set 25-18.
The third set started much like the first with the Pilgrims jumping out to a 6-1 lead and Elms calling a time out. Out of the timeout things evened up but the lead held as the score was pushed to 10-5. The even scoring held until 16-11 when the Blazers took a 4-0 run to bring things to 16-16. The set was tightly contested down the stretch with the New England College jumping out to a quick lead. Elms was able to fight back and keep things close but the Pilgrims were able to take the set and a 2-1 lead with a 25-23 win.
The fourth set saw the Blazers jump out to an early 5-1 lead. New England College pushed back some but Elms was able to extend its lead to 10-4 and force the Pilgrims to call a timeout and regroup. Each team then added four points to move the score to 14-8 as the Blazers held their lead. Again both teams added points with neither able to gain an edge for a score of 21-16. Elms then took a 4-1 run to force a fifth set with a 25-17 win.
In the final set, the Pilgrims jumped out to a 3-0 lead forcing a Blazers timeout. New England College was able to build on their lead as they pushed to an 8-3 lead. Elms then took a 4-2 run to bring things to 10-7. Each team then added four points to bring things to 14-11. The Blazers continued to battle and closed to within one point, but ultimately New England College pulled it out. NEC took the win with a score of 15-13 and 3-2 and punched their ticket to the NECC championship game.
The Blazers were led by big performances from three players. Alanya Cruz (Humacao, P.R.), Jaylianne Ramos (Toa Alta, P.R.), and Dakota Stewart (Victoria, TX) would all register double-doubles in the semi-final match.