WEST HARTFORD, CT - The Elms College Women's Volleyball team was in action last night on the road at the University of Saint Joseph (CT). The Blazers would be too much too handle and spoiled the USJ volleyball home opener, defeating the Blue Jays in four sets, 3-1 (14-25, 25-21, 25-19, 25-11). Elms improves to (4-3) on the season.
The Blue Jays got off to a great start, and raced out to an early lead, 7-2, and would maintain a comfortable advantage throughout the entire set. After three straight powerful service aces, the Blue Jays were ahead, 14-6. They would cruise to an opening-set victory, 25-14, closing the set with a 4-0 run to jump out to an early 1-0 lead.
Elms used the break between sets to regroup, and came out in the second with some adjustments that gave the Blue Jays trouble for the remainder of the match.
The second set was a battle back-and-forth throughout that saw the score tied nine different times. USJ would build up a 17-16 advantage, but then a pair of kills from sophomore Jaylianne Ramos (Toa Alta, P.R.) swung the match in favor of the Blazers, igniting a 9-4 run to close the set. A Ramos kill capped the set, 25-21, to tie things up 1-1.
From there on out, it was all Blazers as they raced out to an early lead in the third set and never let up. Back-to-back service aces from junior Hayley Castanos (Santa Ana, Calif.) built a 9-2 edge and the Blue Jays could never recover. USJ pulled to within 16-11 after a three-point run, but that would be as close as they would get for the remainder of the set as Elms ran away, 25-19, to take a 2-1 lead.
Elms once again did its damage early in the fourth set jumping out to an 11-4 lead to make it difficult for the Blue Jays to try and claw back into it. Four straight points by the Blazers capped by a kill from freshman Natalia Caraballo (Arlington, Texas) extended their lead to 15-5 halfway through the set. The Blazers would keep their foot on the pedal and close the set with five consecutive points highlighted by two more kills from Caraballo to take the fourth and final set comfortably, 25-11, and the match 3-1.
The Blazers had three players finish with double-digit kills led by Caraballo who posted a match-high 14. Ramos and sophomore Alanys Cruz (Humancao, P.R.) each finished with 10 with Ramos posting a match-best .381 hitting percentage. Junior setter Dakota Stewart (Victoria, Texas) was excellent in the win for Elms registering a match-best 36 assists. Defensively, senior Hannah Adams (Deerfield, Mass.) led Elms with seven digs.
Elms is back on the court when they travel to the Sage College Fall Invitational. The Blazers will face tough competition, starting on Friday 9/20 with Skidmore College at 4:00PM. They're right back at it on Saturday 9/21 when they face Oneonta State at 2:00PM and Salem State at 4:00PM.