Elms Clips Men's Volleyball 3-0 in Mountaineers' NECC Opener

chris jimenez bumps the ball

BENNINGTON, Vt. – Southern Vermont College was swept on its home floor Tuesday night as the men's volleyball team fell 3-0 at the Mountaineer Athletic Center to open up the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) schedule.

The visiting Blazers were in control throughout the opening set to win it 25-12, and EC then topped Southern Vermont 25-19 in the second frame. SVC led early on in the third, but Elms overcame its deficit and closed out the night with a 25-18 upper hand for the sweep.

Southern Vermont (2-9, 0-1 NECC) now turns to a Saturday tri-match at Newbury College that kicks off at 11 a.m. with an NECC tilt against the hosting Nighthawks; the Mountaineers then take on Mount Ida College in a non-conference contest at 1 p.m. Elms (9-5, 2-0 NECC) is next in action on Saturday as well, hosting Endicott College for a 1 p.m. league match.

SVC junior Elmer Olivares (Miami, Fla.) tallied a match-best 10 kills while tying the night-high of eight digs. Freshman libero Chris Jimenez (Newark, N.J.) added five digs and a pair of assists as classmate Bryan Bernal (Riverside, Calif.) registered 11 assists, four digs and a kill.

Elms' offense was spread out across the scoresheet with juniors Daniel Bondarovsky (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Gabriel Reis Levy (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) each notching a team-best eight kills; Bondarovsky added five digs and two aces while Reis Levy chalked up three aces and a pair of digs. Sophomore libero Audrye Alejandro (Las Piedras, Puerto Rico) tied Olivares' eight digs to lead the Blazers, and classmate John Dunphy (Farmington, Conn.) assisted on 36 of EC's 38 kills.

Reis Levy ripped across three-straight aces early in the first for an upper hand the Blazers would hold through the frame. With an 11-8 edge, Elms then used five kills to rattle off eight-straight points for a commanding lead. EC would keep its separation the rest of the way before a Bondarovsky ace finished off the game.

An Olivares kill helped SVC go in front 6-4 in the onset of the second stanza, only to see the visitors storm to an 11-2 run to go ahead by seven. Southern Vermont would later score four straight to make it an 18-14 lead for Elms, and points were traded late in the set as the Blazers stayed on top by a handful. With the score set at 23-19, EC snagged the final two points to take a 2-0 upper hand in the match.

Three Mountaineers put down a kill while Elms mishaps helped SVC stake an 11-6 lead early into the third. EC turned the tables quickly, however, by taking to an 8-1 run to go up by a pair. Southern Vermont kept pace and made it a 15-14 deficit for the hosts, but the Blazers then gained some separation by winning eight of the next 10 points—seven coming via a kill. Back-to-back Mountaineer kills made it a five-point difference before a pair of SVC miscues allowed Elms to end the night.

#LetsGoSVC