Blazers breeze through Pine Manor

CHESTNUT HILL, MA – Elms College improved to 7-18 on the season with a 3-0 sweep of Pine Manor, which squandered early leads in two of three sets Tuesday night in Chestnut Hill.


            The night started considerably better than it ended for the Gators, which established a 4-0 lead in Game 1. A 5-0 Elms run led to a Pine Manor time out, after which Gators sophomore middle hitter Jen Gross (Coral Springs, FL/Coral Glades) responded with back-to-back service aces, cutting the deficit to 11-10 and leading to an Elms time out. The Blazers tore off an 8-1 run with five straight points on serves from senior captain Kim Phillips (Randolph, MA/Blue Hill) in a 25-17 win.


            One of sophomore Alie Johnston’s (Winnipeg, MB/River East) team-high two service aces gave the Gators another early advantage to open the middle set, leading to another Elms time out trailing 9-8. Again the Blazers took command. After an Aponi Washington (Brockton, MA/Brockton) block ended an Elms 3-0 mini-run, the Blazers scored eight of the next nine points to go up 19-12, never to look back in a 25-16 victory.


            Elms controlled Game 3 from the outset. Five consecutive points on Stacy Croteau (Agawam, MA/Agawam) serves put Elms in front 7-1, and her Blazers would soon take a 14-6 advantage. A late Gators 5-0 run could only cut the deficit to 23-15 in the 25-15 Game 3 loss.


            Gross led the Gators with nine kills and a pair of blocks. Johnston chipped in with 10 assists, and freshman Susana Turcios (Framingham, MA/Framingham) totaled a team-high nine digs.


            Playing in her last home match, Pine Manor senior Veronica Vozzolo (Bellmore, NY/JFK), who entered the night leading her team with 135 digs on the season, tallied two digs and a kill before departing with an injury early in Game 1 and the Gators leading, 4-0. The pair of digs gives the senior 790 for her career.


            Pine Manor (1-20, 0-10 GNAC) travels to Providence, RI on Saturday for a Great Northeast Athletic Conference tri-match against host Johnston & Wales at noon and St. Joseph’s (ME) at 2 p.m.

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