Union, NJ - The Elms College men's volleyball team opened up the 2020 season on the road at the Clash at Kean Tournament hosted by Kean University. The #12 Blazers faced off against #3 Stevens Institute of Technology in the first of three matches. Elms would fall 3-1 to Stevens with set scores of (25-21, 16-25, 20-25, and 26-28)
The contest lived up to its billing in the early going as the teams went back and forth in the opening set. Neither team led by more than three points through the first half of the first set. Trailing 18-17, Elms rattled off six consecutive points to take a 23-18 lead. Stevens answered by scoring three of the next four points but could not get any closer as the Blazers closed the door at 25-21 to grab the early 1-0 set advantage.
With the score 8-7 in favor of the Ducks in the second stanza, Stevens went on an 8-1 run to take an eight-point edge. Elms cut the deficit to five at 20-15, but the Ducks recorded five of the final six points to tie the contest at one set apiece.
The Ducks came out of the gates firing in the third set, opening the set on a 5-2 run. The Blazers responded with a 6-2 run take a one-point advantage in the contest, but Stevens answered right back with a 6-2 flurry of their own, making the score 13-10. After Elms cut the deficit to one at 19-18, the Ducks did not let the Blazers get any closer by scoring six of the final eight points of the set to win 25-20 and go up 2-1 in sets.
Leading 4-3 in the fourth and final stanza, Stevens rattled off five consecutive points to make the lead six points. The Blazers did not go away quietly, going on a 5-0 run of their own halfway through the set to make the score 13-12 in favor of the Ducks. After Stevens re-extended the lead to four at 19-15, Elms made another run by scoring five straight points once again to take their first lead of the set. The Ducks were able to re-take the lead and attempted to put the match away at 24-23 and 25-24 but could not close the contest on their first two set point attempts. The Blazers had an opportunity to send the contest to a fifth set with a 26-25 edge but could not do so as the Ducks came up with a huge block. Leading 27-26 in the fourth, Stevens was able to take advantage of a bad set to seal the season-opening victory.
Jeremy Torre (Juncos, P.R.) led the way for the Blazers with 27 kills, 2 blocks, and 11 digs. Carlos Mercado (Barranquitas P.R.) had 40 assists in the match.