CHICOPEE, Mass. – After leading 2-1, Southern Vermont College fell 3-2 in Men's Volleyball action at Elms College in a New England Collegiate Conference match up, Thursday evening. The match was a pivotal match for both teams as Elms came into the match leading SVC by one game in the standings. With the win, Elms remains unbeaten against Southern Vermont and improves to 15-6 overall, 7-2 in NECC play, while the Mountaineers fall to 9-15 on the season, 6-4 in conference action.
Elms College junior middle hitter Bryson Rainey (Brookline, Mass.) floored a match-best 15 kills and four Blazers finished with double-digit kills to help secure a back-and-forth 3-2 (21-25, 25-21, 23-25, 25-20, 15-11) victory.
With the score tied 2-2 in the match, Elms jumped out to a quick 4-1 lead in the fifth frame before Southern Vermont battled back to force the first of seven ties in the stanza to set the score at 10-10. A pair of SVC attacking errors gave the Blazers a 12-10 lead before Joseph Dighton (Riverside, Calif.) pounded down a kill to pull Southern Vermont to within one at 12-11. From there, a pair of Mountaineers' attacking errors and a kill by junior outside hitter Stephen Cameron (Newington, Conn.) allowed the Blazers to pull away to a 15-11 victory and with the match 3-2.
Dighton led Southern Vermont with 11 kills, while Anthony Barahona (Eagle Rock, Calif.) tallied 10 kills. Keven Walley (Pico Rivera, Calif.) added eight, while Gabriel Franco (Pico Rivera, Calif.) chipped in seven kills off the bench. Herson Canta (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Anthony Ayala (Pico Rivera, Calif.) dished out 20 and 17 assists in the losing effort, while Mills finished with six kills, four solo blocks and two assisted blocks in the loss.
Rainey led three Elms players who finished with double-doubles as Cameron and senior outside hitter Carlos DeLeon (Carolina, Puerto Rico) notched 13 and 12 kills respectively, and all three finished with a team-high 10 digs. Freshman middle hitter Angel Castro (Carolina, Puerto Rico) added 14 kills and nine digs, while sophomore setter Daniel Lebron (San Juan, Puerto Rico) dished out 52 assists and dug nine balls to help pace the Blazers in the victory. Castro added seven assisted blocks, while DeLeon served up three aces. Senior middle hitter Yonalvy Acosta (Holyoke, Mass.) added five kills, six digs and four assisted blocks.
After Southern Vermont posted a 2-1 lead in the match, Elms raced out to a 18-11 lead in the fourth frame before the Mountaineers answered with a 4-1 run on the strength of two Dighton kills and one by Corey Mills (Fresno, Calif.) to narrow the gap to one at 19-18. The Blazers then used a 6-2 run of their own, fueled by two kills from Rainey, one from Cameron and an assisted block by Castro and Lebron to give Elms a 25-20 victory and force a deciding fifth set.
Southern Vermont is back in action Saturday at Lesley University when they look to earn a program best double digit wins.