CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Elms College junior Bryson Rainey (Brookline, Mass.) registered a game-high 18 kills to lead the Blazers to a 3-0 (25-20, 25-15, 25-17) sweep of Lesley University tonight in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) men's volleyball action tonight at Buckingham, Browne, and Nichols. The win in Elms' first in conference play, moving them to 1-1 and 3-8 overall while the Lynx slip to 0-2 in league action and 0-6 on the season.
Rainey tied his season-high mark as he connected on an impressive .429 clip from the floor. Complementing Rainey's production was classmate Angel Castro (Caroline, Puerto Rico) who knocked in eight kills and led the visitors with eight digs. Senior setter Kevin Walsh (Wilbraham, Mass.) dished out a game-high 27 assists.
Freshman Tyler Burns (Newtown, Pa.) came one kill shy of tying his career-high of ten, finishing with nine kills to lead the Lynx offense. Burns also paced Lesley on the defensive end, collecting a team-high seven digs and two blocks. Classmate Mitchel Ulacco (Winchester, Mass.) finished with 14 assists on the night to go with his five digs while senior Melvin Morales (Chelsea, Mass.) matched his season-high with six kills.
Trailing 6-3 in the opening set, the Lynx would score three of the next four points to climb to within one, 7-6. The Blazers gave themselves some breathing room, taking advantage of three Lynx errors and a Rainey kill to extend their advantage to 11-6. Later in the set, holding an 18-16 lead, Elms would go on a 6-0 run to take a commanding 24-16 lead. Rainey, who finished with eight kills in the opening set, led the charge with four during the spurt. Lesley tried to mount a comeback, scoring three straight, but it was not enough as the Blazers held on for the 25-20 set win.
The teams exchanged points to open the second set before three straight Blazer errors gave the Lynx their first lead of the night, 5-4. The lead would not last long as Elms would go on to score eight of the next nine points to jump ahead 12-6. The Blazers would not let the Lynx get close in the set, holding at least a five point lead throughout the rest of play before rolling to the 25-15 win. Elms finished with 12 kills in the set, headlined by five from Castro, as the team hit a collective .391.
The Blazers jumped ahead early once again in the third, using a slew of Lynx errors to take an 8-3 advantage. Lesley would answer with a 5-3 run capped by a Morales kill that brought the Lynx within two, 10-8. Rainey would get the visitors back on track as his three consecutive kills sparked a 10-1 run that broke the set open as the Blazers rolled to a 25-17 third set victory.
Lesley will be back in action on Saturday, February 22nd when they travel to Endicott College for a tri-match with the Gulls and the Wentworth Leopards. The first match is set for noon. Elms will travel to Daniel Webster College on Wednesday, February 19th for an NECC matchup with the Eagles at 7:00p.