Elms Shocks Volleyball in Four Frames

Christina LeDuc

CHICOPEE, Mass. – Freshman Christina LeDuc (Mendon, Mass.) established a career high for kills and junior Elle Kass (Los Gatos, Calif.) racked up a season best for digs, but the Connecticut College volleyball team was dealt a 3-1 loss by Elms on Tuesday evening at Picknelly Arena. The Blazers won by set scores of 26-28, 25-22, 25-22, and 25-19.

Connecticut College got off to a fast start, scoring the first four points with senior captain Grace McGee (Portland, Ore.) serving. The Camels maintained the lead and were ahead by a 24-20 score when Kass set up LeDuc for a kill, but the hosts fired back with five straight points and got back-to-back aces from Lauren Jensen. The visitors, however, recovered, and eventually took the set on a Blazer service error.

After nearly completing an improbable comeback during the opening frame, the Blazers blitzed out to a 10-2 advantage in the second set and this time held off the Camels down the stretch. After junior Katie Howley (Scituate, Mass.) registered a kill to push her team ahead for the first time at 18-17, a ball handling error followed by three attacking errors gave the Blazers momentum. Laura Jensen recorded three kills the rest of the way, including on set point, to allow the hosts to even the score.

Jensen kept Elms rolling in the third set by smashing a kill to spark a 5-0 run. Even though Connecticut College regained the edge by three on several occasions, the Blazers were able to take the set by scoring the last six points. An ace by Kianna Lozada put the hosts in control.

Elms (11-8) capped the night with its strongest set of the match. After briefly falling behind, 4-3, on a LeDuc kill, the Blazers responded with three straight points and remained ahead for the duration of the evening. They led by as many as six on several occasions, finishing the night with their final point coming on a Camel blocking error.

Jensen notched a team-leading 11 kills, three aces, and four digs to pace Elms. Dakota Stewart added a double-double with 35 assists and 15 digs, and Sabrina Christie had three blocks. Lozada posted a team-best 23 digs.

LeDuc registered a career-best 14 kills along with eight digs to lead the way for Connecticut College. Howley posted another double-double with 11 kills and 18 digs, while Kass finished with a season-high 31 digs. Sophomore Emma Roberts (Port Washington, N.Y.) recorded four service aces, and McGee reached twin figures with 26 assists.

Connecticut College (6-11) returns home for the first time in nearly a month when it next hosts Coast Guard on Friday at 5 p.m. for its annual "Green Dot Game."