CHICOPEE, Mass. – Jeremy Torres (Juncos, P.R.) delivered a match-high 12 kills and Jovanny Torres (Juncos, P.R.) finished one kill shy of a double-double, tallying nine kills and 11 assists, but the Elms men's volleyball team couldn't quite keep pace with No. 1 Springfield in a 3-0 loss in Picknelly Arena on Thursday night.
The Blazers (13-5) lost by scores of 25-17, 25-20, and 25-20 and gave the top-ranked Pride (21-1) a run for their money all night. Elms led 12-10 in the second set and was within striking distance, 19-17, late in the set before Springfield surged to the 25-20 win to pull ahead 2-0 in the match.
Elms built a 9-5 lead in the third set and didn't trail until Springfield pulled ahead 16-15. The Blazers tied the set at 16-16 and were within one at 19-18 before Springfield used a 6-2 spurt to seal the 3-0 sweep.
Jeremy Torres' 12 kills came on 26 attempts for a .308 hitting percentage while Jovanny Torres hit .350 with nine kills and two errors on 20 attempts. Gabriel Levy (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) had four kills without an error and a .364 hitting percentage as the trio led Elms to a .287 hitting percentage for the contest. John Dunphy (Farmington, Conn.) finished with 14 assists for the Blazers.
Springfield, however, hit .403 in the match as setter Eli Gabriel Irizarry Pares (Bayamon, P.R.) distributed the Pride offense brilliantly. Six Pride players finished with five or more kills, led by a team-high eight from both Sean Zuvich (San Pedro, Calif.) and Kyle Jasuta (Manhattan Beach, Calif.). Jasuta hit 1.000 as he tallied a kill on all eight of his attempts in the match. Pares picked up seven kills and dished out 34 assists, while Ricardo Padilla Ayala (San Juan, P.R.) added seven, Joseth Irizarry Feliciano (Adjuntas, P.R.) added six, and Sergio Figueroa Velez (San Juan, P.R.) finished with five.
Springfield held a 28-16 advantage in digs and a 6-1 edge in service aces in the match.
The Blazers will step back in to New England Collegiate Conference play on March 27 when conference-leading and five-time defending NECC champion Endicott visits Picknelly Arena at 7:00 p.m. That match will be Senior Night for the Blazers. Springfield hosts Arcadia and Lehman on March 24.