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Sophomore libero Elijah Parks registered seven digs vs. Elms
Sophomore libero Elijah Parks registered seven digs vs. Elms

BOSTON, Mass. – The Elms College men's volleyball team edged Emmanuel College, 3-0 (28-26, 27-25, 25-23) Thursday evening in non-conference action at the Andy Yosinoff Court. The Blazer improve to 7-4 on the year with the loss drops the Saints to 4-8 overall.

All three sets were highly contested including the first two frames needing extra points to decide a winner. In the opening set, Elms led most of the action until a kill by sophomore Erik English (Simi Valley, Calif.) tied the score at 19-19. Emmanuel had two chances to win the frame, leading 24-23 and 26-25 but the Blazers rattled off three straight including back-to-back kills by freshman outside hitter David Fernandez (Springfield, Mass.) to post a 28-26 win.

Elms used the momentum in the second set to build a commanding 20-12 lead before the host Saints began to turn things around. Emmanuel mounted a 12-4 run to even the score at 24-24 and again had the chance to win the set by taking a 25-24 lead following a block by freshman middle hitter John Carroll (Massapequa, N.Y.). The Blazers closed out the second set with three consecutive points capped by a kill from senior Qua'Sean Crowe (Stamford, Conn.) to post a 27-25 win and take a commanding 2-0 lead in the match.

The Saints were poised to extend the match in the third, racing ahead to an 18-13 lead before Elms rattled off five consecutive points to tie the score at 18-all, forcing an Emmanuel timeout. The squads traded points down the stretch until a Blazer attacking error put the hosts on top 23-22 late the action. Elms capped the comeback in similar fashion to the first two sets, scoring the final three points to seal a 25-23 victory and take the match, 3-0.

Junior Daniel Bondarovsky (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) led the Blazers with a match-high 14 kills while Hernandez finished the night with 11 winners. Sophomore setter John Dunphy (Farmington, Conn.) posted 28 assists in the win whilesophomore libero Audrye Alejandro (Las Piedras, Puerto Rico) added 13 digs, a match-high.

For Emmanuel, English registered a team-best 12 kills to go along with nine digs. Freshman setter Sean McDonagh (Long Beach, N.Y.) recorded 26 helpers and nine digs in the outing. Freshman Manuel Velez (San Jose, Costa Rica) and sophomore Elijah Parks (Long Beach, N.Y.) each added seven digs.

The Saints return to action on Saturday, February 18 at 3:00 PM when they play host to Mount Saint Vincent College. Elms is back on the same day competing at MIT in a tri-match against the Engineers at 12:00 PM and John Jay at 2:00 PM.