Chicopee, MA – The Elms College men's volleyball team came up short in a five set thriller against Division I St. Francis College Brooklyn on Saturday at Picknelly Arena with set scores of (20-25, 25-21, 22-25, 25-22, and 15-13). The Blazers are now 2-3 on the young season.
This was the first time men's volleyball had ever taken on a Division I opponent. St. Francis Brooklyn is a first year program, however they are able to offer full athletic scholarships. It didn't take long to see that the #13 DIII nationally ranked Blazers belonged on the court with the DI opponent.
The Terriers and Blazers found themselves in a back and forth match with both sides trading set victories prior to the finish. Elms got off to a slow start and found themselves trailing 18-13 in the opening set. After a timeout, the home side picked up their play and rallied back, closing the gap. Elms was were unable pull in front giving the visitors the opening set, 25-20.
Elms evened up the match at a set apiece, taking the second by the score of 25-21. The Terriers and Blazers traded points, until Elms went on a 4-1 run sparked by a kill from Jeremy Torres (Juncos, P.R.) to close out the set in its favor.
St. Francis struck right back in the match as it captured the third set by the final tally of 25-22. In what was another back and forth set.
The Blazers would not go down easily and battled back, the fourth set went to Elms by the score of 25-20, which set up a fifth and final set.
The fifth set saw more back and forth action was close right to the end. Neither team was able to get any separation until the visitors went up 14-12. With the match on the line Diego Hernandez (San Juan, P.R.) stepped up and delivered a massive kill on a Carlos Mercado (Barranquitas, P.R.) assist. The next point would go to the Terriers, giving them the set and the match.
Elms was led by Torres who finished with 22 kills, and seven digs. Mercado was huge in the match with 50 assists. Manual Savalza (Riverside, CA) also had a big match with 17 digs.
The Blazers are back in action on Wednesday 1/29 at 7PM when they host sage College at Picknelly Arena in non-conference play.