CHICOPEE, Mass. – The Southern Vermont College men's volleyball team's season came to an end Tuesday night as the sixth-seeded Mountaineers were swept 3-0 at No. 3 Elms College in a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) first-round playoff match at Picknelly Arena.
The Blazers stormed to a 25-10 win in the opening set before taking a strong advantage in the contest with a 25-14 victory in the second game. EC then closed out the night in the third—topping the Mountaineers with a 25-17 margin to move into Thursday's semifinal round.
Southern Vermont finishes the season at 6-21 overall.
SVC junior captain Elmer Olivares (Miami, Fla.) tacked up a match-best 10 kills while adding a team-leading nine digs to his line. Freshman captain Bryan Bernal (Riverside, Calif.) had 15 assists and five digs on the night as senior Jeff James (Bowie, Md.) recorded four total blocks and a pair of kills.
Elms jumped on top 6-2 in the onset of the first set before going in front 12-5. An Olivares kill got one back for the Mountaineers, but the Blazers got seven of the next eight for a 12-point advantage. Olivares would add two more kills through the end of the frame to no avail as EC won five of the last six points to close it out.
An 8-2 upper hand for the hosts started the second game before Olivares tacked up another kill. A 6-1 run by the Blazers opened it up to a 10-point lead, but SVC was able to cut it down to seven as James landed a kill before junior Yonas Million (Rockville, Md.) served up an ace. EC answered with four straight, and the Blazers carried that to the double-digit win in the set.
Southern Vermont went up 2-1 with a James kill in the third—only to see Elms come back with a 5-2 run to go in front by three. Points were traded as Olivares and Bernal each put down a kill, and SVC was able to tie it at 8-8 with an attacking error by the hosts. The Blazers turned things on and won the next five, however, and they would later make that an eight-point upper hand. Neither team scored consecutive points through the final seven serves as EC finished off the victory to grab a spot in the semifinal round.
– #LetsGoSVC –