Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
CHICOPEE, Mass. – The Elms College women's volleyball team closed out the 2017 Blazer Invitational with a pair of victories, defeating Cobleskill, 3-0, and then conquering Castleton, 3-0, to wrap up action Saturday afternoon at Picknelly Arena. The Blazers improve to 3-0 on the season, while Cobleskill dips to 2-1 and Castleton sits at 0-3 overall.
Match 1: Elms 3, Cobleskill 0 (25-15, 25-20, 25-19)
The Blazers captured a 7-4 lead in the first set behind kills from freshman Hannah Pichardo (South Glen Falls, N.Y.) and senior Kate Moriarty (Agawam, Mass.). The Fighting Tigers worked at the gap, but Elms maintained the lead on strikes from juniors Rachel Magnuson (Miller Place, N.Y.) and Danielle Redding (Las Vegas, N.V.) to hold a 12-9 advantage. The Blazers created separation with a 5-2 run to build a 17-11 lead. Sophomore Hannah Adams (Deerfield, Mass.) and Redding made it 21-13, and then Magnuson notched a pair of kills to lock up the 25-15 win.
Cobleskill grabbed a 6-3 lead in the second set as sophomore Emily Potter (Fort Plain, N.Y.) tallied two kills. After a kill from sophomore Katerina Weingarten (Cobleskill, N.Y.) made it 8-5, the Blazers evened the score at 9-9 on strikes from Adams, Magnuson and Redding. The sides exchanged points until the Blazers capitalized on four Cobleskill errors to hold a 21-16 advantage. Elms used a service ace from Redding to secure the 25-20 win.
The Blazers attack struck early in the third set as Redding hammered three kills and Pichardo and classmate Ayanna Meadows (Springfield, Mass.) added two kill apiece to build a 7-2 lead. The Fighting Tigers used a pair of kills from Potter to work the deficit to 11-5, but Elms would regain control on back-to-back kills from Adams and Redding. Pichardo and Meadows helped the Blazers to an 8-4 run to own a 20-12 advantage. Adams and Magnuson slotted two kill each down the stretch, and then a kill from Redding handed Elms the 25-19 victory.
Redding slammed a match-high 11 kills with six digs to helm the Blazers attack. Adams added eight kills with 17 digs, while Magnuson chipped in seven kills. Freshman Dakota Stewart (Victoria, Texas) logged a match-high 30 assists with a match-high 19 digs.
Junior Mackenzie Holbert (Sauquoit, N.Y.) led Cobleskill with a team-high nine kills and a team-high 13 assists and nine digs. Potter notched seven kills with a team-high 16 digs, while sophomore Dani Webb (Munnsville, N.Y.) added a team-high 16 digs. Freshman Kendra Webb (Munnsville, N.Y.) registered a double-double with 11 assists and 11 digs.
Match 3: Elms 3, Castleton 0 (25-14, 25-7, 25-16)
Tied at 2-2 in the opening frame, the Blazers surged ahead of the Spartans with an 8-3 run, featuring kills from Pichardo and Magnuson. Magnuson struck again, and then Moriarty served up two aces to push Elms ahead 14-5. Leading 15-10, Redding delivered four kills to hand the Blazers a 22-11 advantage, and then served the set-winning ace.
In the second set, the
lazers raced to an 8-1 lead, and then a strike from Adams set the score at 9-4. Pichardo Pichardo and Meadows tallied aces, paired with kills from Magnuson, Adams, and freshman Hayley Castanos (Santa Ana, Calif.) as Elms built a 15-5 lead. Magnuson sandwiched a kill and an ace around aces from Adams, and then Pichardo hammered the final kill.
The Spartans controlled a 4-0 lead to kick off the third set, but the Blazers chipped away at the gap behind kills from Pichardo and a kill and an ace from Castanos to even the set at 9-9. Cobleskill maintained a 15-12 edge on two kills and block from freshman Shannon Manchester (West Hartford, Conn.) until Elms responded with two strikes from Castanos and a kill from Magnuson tied the set at 16-16. Elms closed the set with nine straight points, featuring two aces from Meadows and two kills from Castanos to secure the 25-16 win.
Magnuson led Elms offense with a match-high seven kills, five digs and two aces. Redding recorded six kills, a match-high six aces and 10 digs, while Castanos tallied a career-high six kills with a career-high eight digs. Stewart posted a double-double with 26 assists and 11 digs, and Adams and Pichardo added five kills apiece in the win.
Manchester paced Castleton with a team-high six kills. Freshman Alexis Lengyel (Farmingville, N.Y.) grabbed a team-high 13 digs, while senior Kimberly Jackson (South Windsor, Conn.) had 12 digs and two kills. Junior Maria Jackson (Seward, Alaska) tallied a team-high eight assists and nine digs.
Stewart was named Tournament MVP, while Redding and Adams earned All-Tournament Team honors.
The Blazers return to the court with a non-conference road trip to Bridgewater State for a 6:00 p.m. match.
2017 Blazer Invitational All-Tournament Team
MVP: Dakota Stewart (Elms)
Danielle Redding (Elms)
Hannah Adams (Elms)
Karyn Knaul (Cobleskill)
Mackenzie Holbert (Cobleskill)
Delaney Ruiz (Albertus Magnus)
Shannon Manchester (Castleton)