BEVERLY, Mass. – The first-seeded Endicott men's volleyball team moved one step closer to defending its New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) title on Friday evening with a 3-1 (23-25, 25-23, 25-16, 25-18) victory over fourth-seeded Elms College in the NECC Tournament semifinals at MacDonald Gymnasium.
Daniel Toth (Glenwood, N.J.) paced the Gulls offensively with 11 kills on 22 swings(.409 hitting percentage) to go along with two service aces, one assist, and four blocks. John Osborne (Freehold, N.J.) contributed nine kills (.421) and 11 digs, while Jeremy Doski (Sandy Hook, Conn.) added six kills. Alex Wasik (Milford, Mas.) and Troy Riorden (Fairport, N.Y.) also chipped in with five putaways, respectively.
Elms saw three student-athletes notch double-digit kill efforts in the loss, which included a match-high 17 from Gabriel Reis Levy (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). Daniel Bondarovsky (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) posted 13 kills, seven digs, and three blocks, while Angel Castro (Carolina, Puerto Rico) rounded out the rest of the offensive highlights with a double-double on 11 kills and 10 digs. John Dunphy (Farmington, Conn.) ran the Blazers' offense on 43 assists.
Elms pushed out to a 1-0 advantage in the match behind a set-high 16 kills – including eight alone by Reis Levy – and a set-high .250 hitting percentage in its 25-23 first-set victory. Endicott battled back in set two by navigating its way through 14 tied scores and four lead changes before evening the match at 1-1 with a 25-23 second-set triumph.
The Gulls then went on to capitalize on their newfound momentum by holding Elms to a .138 hitting percentage in set three and a negative-121 hitting percentage in set four for the eventual 3-1 victory. The last two sets only feature four tied scores and two lead changes, which all occurred in set four.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Endicott is now 3-0 this season against Elms, and 28-3 all-time versus the Blazers dating back to January 31, 2003.
- Chandler Tayek (Rolling Hills Estates, Calif.) helped sway momentum towards Endicott's way with five digs and a perfect serve-receive percentage on the night.
- Healy went 14-for-14 on serve-receive, which included eight of them leading directly to kills, while six out of his team-high 12 digs also led to putaways for the Gulls.
- Endicott took advantage of 20 service errors by Elms. The Blazers have recorded 20 or more service errors in three matches this season (first loss of the year).
- Riorden held serve for seven straight points in set four (helped establish a 12-6 lead).
FOR THE FOES
- Qua'Sean Crowe (Stamford, Conn.) notched five kills (.625), two digs, and three blocks in the loss.
- Reis Levy has compiled 15 or more kills in a match four times this season.
First-seeded Endicott (16-10) hosts third-seeded Daniel Webster (16-12) in the NECC Tournament championship match tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. Elms' season comes to a close at 12-12 overall.