Gators fall to Blazers

Gators fall to Blazers

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – The Elms College women's volleyball team returned to the win column with a three set victory over host Pine Manor College (25-15, 25-14, 25-15) in non-conference play at Brunelli Court Tuesday night. The Blazers improved to 3-10 on the year, while Pine Manor drops to 3-11 overall.

In the first set, Elms captured an early 4-1 lead behind a pair of service aces from sophomore Kate Moriarty (Agawam, Mass.). A string of errors by Pine Manor, followed by back-to-back kills from senior Alex Mack (Wilbraham, Mass.) and Moriarty put Elms up 12-6. The Gators trimmed the Blazers lead to 13-8, but Elms pulled ahead on pair of aces by Moriarty and kills from Mack and freshman Danielle Redding (Las Vegas, N.V.), to take a 21-10 lead en route to the 25-15 win.

The Blazers pulled ahead 7-4 in the second set with kills from Redding sandwiching a kill from sophomore Ashlee Connors (Springfield, Mass.). The Gators cut the Elms advantage to 8-6, but the Blazers regained an 11-6 lead on back-to-back kills from sophomore Lindsay McNiff(Kingston, Mass.). Pine Manor battled back to make it a 15-12 game until Elms pulled away on kills from Mack, Redding and Connors, who added a pair of aces, to give the Blazers a 21-13 cushion. Redding closed the set with a kill and an ace to secure the 25-14 win.

In the third set, Elms raced to a 7-2 lead on Gator errors and a trio of aces from Connors. The Blazers extended their lead to 11-3 on a pair of aces and a kill from Redding. Leading 15-11, the Blazers continued to build their lead behind three kills from Redding to make it a 20-12 set. The Blazers ended the match with a kill from McNiff and two aces from Redding to sweep the Gators with a 25-15 win in the final set.

Redding led the Blazer attack with a team-high nine kills, along with a career-high seven service aces and two digs. Mack tallied eight kills, while Connors added five kills, six aces and three digs. Senior Shannon Bolton (Shelton, Conn.) dished out 28 assists in the win. Moriarty registered five aces and three kills, and McNiff chipped in five kills. As a team, the Blazers recorded a season-high 19 aces.

The Gators were paced by Natasia Franklin and Ashley Whiteshield with three kills apiece, while Whiteshield doled out eight assists and eight digs.

The Blazers will be back in action as they open conference play against Becker College at Picknelly Arena Saturday afternoon. Game time is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. The Gators play a doubleheader against Massachusetts Maritime Saturday afternoon at 11:00 a.m.