No. 3 Elms and No. 5 Newbury Advance to the NECC Men's Volleyball Semifinals

No. 3 Elms and No. 5 Newbury Advance to the NECC Men's Volleyball Semifinals

Attleboro, Mass. - Fifth seeded Newbury College had a strong offensive night to advance over fourth seeded Eastern Nazarene College. The Nighthawks won in straight sets to earn a spot in the NECC Semifinals for the first time since 2015. Third seeded Elms College cruised to straight sets victory over sixth seeded Southern Vermont College to secure a spot in the NECC Semifinals

Elms will travel to second seeded Regis College, while Newbury travels to top seeded Endicott College for the NECC Semifinals. First serve at Regis is set for 6:00pm, while Endicott will host the semifinals at 7:00pm, both matches will take places Thursday, April 13th. 

#5 Newbury 3, #4 Eastern Nazarene 0

QUINCY, Mass. - Nighthawks junior Joshua Thorne finished with a double-double of a match-high 13 kills to go along with 12 digs as the Newbury Nighthawks defeated the Eastern Nazarene Lions 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-19), avenging a pair of 3-2 regular season losses on Tuesday night at Lahue PE Center in the Quarterfinals of the New England Collegiate Conference Playoffs.

Thorne's 13 kills are a career-playoff high, as his .231 hitting percentage was also a match-best. Nighthawks freshman Matt Sepe added five kills and 15 digs, while senior Nile Fox finished with six kills and six digs.

Lions junior Kenny Sorensen finished with a team-high 10 kills and 14 digs. Freshman Derek Fowler finished with seven kills and three aces. Junior Matthew Tyree finished with a double-double at 23 assists and 10 digs.

In the opening set, the Nighthawks took advantage of a number of Lions errors that came early in the set, keeping the score close. It wasn't until an 8-2 Nighthawks run that created separation, giving the Nighthawks a 20-15 lead. The Lions rebounded to within three, but a Thorne kill ended the set, 25-21. Thorne had four kills in the opening stanza.

In the second, the Nighthawks offense found a more consistent rhythm, finishing the set with 14 total kills, opposed to the five in the opening set. The Lions offense hung in tough, matching the Nighthawks for much of the set. Another scoring run, this time of 7-2 for the Nighthawks, created the separation needed to swing momentum as the Nighthawks led 20-14. The Nighthawks again held off a Lions run and the final three points favored the Nighthawks for a 25-20 win.

In the final set, the Nighthawks seized all momentum to this point, starting the set with a 12-4 lead. The Lions, as they had before, managed to cut the deficit, this time to five at 21-16. Two Thorne kills and two Lions errors finally finished the contest with the Nighthawks grabbing a 25-19.

The Nighthawks victory moves them to the NECC Semifinals for the first time since 2015. Waiting for them is the top-seeded Endicott College Gulls, who have not lost a conference match since March 7, 2016. 

The NECC Semifinal is scheduled for Thursday evening at Endicott's MacDonald Gym with the first serve scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

Courtesy of Newbury Athletics Communications.

#3 Elms 3, #6 Southern Vermont 0

CHICOPEE, Mass. – The third-seeded Elms College men's volleyball team rolled to a three-set sweep of visiting sixth-seed Southern Vermont College, 3-0 (25-10, 25-14, 25-17), in the First Round of the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Men's Volleyball Championship Tournament at Picknelly Arena Tuesday night. With the win, Elms rises to 17-9 on the season, while the Mountaineers wrap up their 2017 campaign with a 6-22 mark.

The Blazers faced little resistance from the Mountaineers during a 25-10 victory in the first set. Elms held an early 5-2 lead behind a pair of aces from sophomore John Dunphy and kills from senior Qua'Sean Crowe. After two aces from junior Daniel Bondarovsky put the Blazers up 9-4, the Mountaineers got back on the scoreboard with a double block from sophomore Marv Figaro (New York City, N.Y.) and Adrian Dickerson. The Blazers seized control with an 8-2 run, featuring a pair of kills from junior Gabriel Reis Levy, to escort their advantage to 17-7. A double block from Reis Levy and Bondarovsky was followed by a solo block from Crowe as the Elms lead expanded to 20-8. The Blazers capitalized on Mountaineer errors and an ace from Bondarovsky sealed the win.

The Blazers used five kills from four different attackers to harness a 10-3 lead to open the second set. After kills from Reis Levy, Bondarovsky, and senior Dervin Dimanche hand Elms a 16-7 lead, the Mountaineers responded with a kill from senior Jeff James and an ace from junior Yonas Million to work at the deficit. Reis Levy served up two aces and Southern Vermont junior Elmer Olivares delivered a pair of late kills, but Dimanche closed out the win with a kill and a double block for the 25-14 win.

The Mountaineers took their first lead of the contest with an opening strike from James, but the Blazers answered with a 6-2 run, paced by two kills from freshman David Hernandez. After a kill from Bondarovsky made it 7-5, Southern Vermont evened the score on back-to-back kills from Olivares and freshman Bryan Bernal. Tied 8-8, the Blazers created separation with five straight points, including two aces from Dunphy, to develop a 13-8 lead. An SVC double block and a kill from Olivares closed the deficit to 15-12, but consecutive kills from Hernandez, Dunphy and Dimanche push Elms to an 18-12 advantage. The sided traded points down the stretch until kills from Reis Levy and Hernandez slammed the door on the Mountaineers for the 25-17 win.

The Blazers orchestrated a balanced attack with five attackers posting at least four kills, led by a team-high eight kills, five digs, a match-high four aces and two blocks from Bondarovsky. Reis Levy added seven kills with a team-high 10 digs and a match-high four blocks, while Dimanche chipped in six kills. Hernandez logged seven digs with five kills, and Crowe tallied four kills and two aces. Dunphy totaled 26 assists with a match-high four aces and four digs in the win.

Southern Vermont was paced by a match-high 10 kills and a team-high nine digs from Olivares. James and freshman Te Hayward added two kills apiece. James recorded a match-high four blocks, and Bernal dished out 15 assists.

The Blazers advance to the NECC Semifinals and will face second-seeded Regis College (15-13) Thursday night at Higgins Court. 

Courtesy of Elms Athletics Communications.

First Round – Tuesday, April 11th

Game 1: #5 Newbury College 3, #4 Eastern Nazarene 0
Game 2: #3 Elms College 3, #6 Southern Vermont College 0

Semifinals – Thursday, April 13th

Game 3: #5 Newbury College @ #1 Endicott College – 7:00p.m.
Game 4: #3 Elms College @ #2 Regis College – 6:00p.m.

Championship – Saturday, April 15th

Game 5: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner – TBA