CHICOPEE, Mass. – The Elms men's volleyball team dug out of a 2-0 hole to pick up a dramatic 3-2 (28-30, 23-25, 25-18, 25-19, 15-10) victory over Sage at Picknelly Arena on Wednesday night.
Jake Johnson (Warwick, R.I.) torched the Gators for 10 kills on 15 swings without an error to hit .667 for the match. Jeremy Torres (Juncos, P.R.) led the Elms with 17 kills and added eight digs, and Martin Acevedo (Carolina, P.R.) added 15 kills on a .353 hitting percentage. Audrye Alejandro (Las Piedras, P.R.) picked up a match-high 19 digs and John Dunphy (Farmington, Conn.) tallied 35 assists.
Elms couldn't covert chances to take each of the first two sets, leaving the Blazers (6-2) no margin for error. Elms led 24-22 in the first set with a crack at set point before Sage (2-4) fought back. After Elms led 25-24 the teams traded points until it was tied 28-28, when Sage picked up two straight to win the set.
The Blazers looked to be in control of the second set, leading 20-16, before Sage made a 5-1 run to tie the set at 21-21 before eventually taking a 25-23 win to pull ahead 2-0.
With their backs against the wall, the Blazers picked up the intensity. After Sage hit .371 and .344 in the first two sets respectively, Elms held the Gators to just .100, .152 and .000 in the final three sets to pick up comfortable wins in each and complete the comeback.
Bailey Cecchi (Agawam, Mass.) led Sage with 14 kills while Scott Sanders (Los Angeles, Calif.) had 12 and Ryan Guyton (Lockport, N.Y.) added 11. Ryan Jennings (No. Brunswick, N.J.) finished with 24 assists and Austin Laverty (Schenectady, N.Y.) added 23.
The Blazers had 13.0 blocks in the game, with Gabriel Levy picking up three solo blocks and two block assists. Acevedo finished with five block assists for the Blazers.
Elms hit .261 in the match while Sage hit .218. The Blazers had a 55-51 advantage in digs and served up twice as many aces, eight, as the Gators.
Elms opens New England Collegiate Conference play on Feb. 3 when Eastern Nazarene visits Chicopee (7:00 p.m.) while Sage will face Wells on the same day.