CHICOPEE, Mass. – Reigning New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Rookie of the Week Jake Powell's (Salinas, Calif.) career single-match high 28 kills in a tough 3-2 loss to Elms College, Wednesday evening put him third amongst Newbury's all-time leaders in single-game kills.
In a match that featured a total of 40 ties and 16 lead changes, Elms won the first two sets before Newbury answered with wins in the next two sets. Powell and sophomore outside hitter Chi Yin Li (Framingham, Mass.) powered the Nighthawk offense to a decisive fifth set combining to hit .333 while notching 48 kills together.
However, the fifth stanza was barn-burner, as the sides battling to a 13-13 stalemate before Elms' senior outside hitter Stephen Cameron (Newington, Conn.) and junior middle hitter Bryson Rainey (Brookline, Mass.) connected for back-to-back kills to seal the hard-fought win for the Blazers.
In addition to notching a match-best 28 kills, Powell also registered his fourth double-double of the season tallying 13 digs on the night. Li was no far behind, finishing the game with 20 kills on 38 attempts with just six errors for a match-high .368 attack percentage. First year right side hitter Tyler Sayne (Tucson, Ariz.) rounded out the Nighthawk offense adding nine kills.
Junior setter Cody Braden (Fair Grove, Mo.) paced the Newbury offense tallying career single-game high 52 assists and tied for the match-high in digs with 14 while senior libero Alex Amylon (Scituate, R.I.) added 11 digs.
Elms took a 2-0 lead in the match when junior opposite hitter Kordel Latimer (Lynn, Mass.) and Cameron struck for back-to-back kills to break a 23-23 deadlock allowing Elms to win the set 25-23.
Newbury won the third frame decisively as the Nighthawks, with the score set at 21-16 won four of the final five points of the set highlighted by three kills from Powell to make it 2-1 in the contest.
After posting a 24-21 lead in the fourth frame, a service error and a kill by Rainey allowed Elms to pull to within one at 24-23, but the Blazers the suffered an attacking error allowing Newbury to clinch the set and force a fifth set.
Newbury drops to 7-11 and 4-5 in the conference while Elms improves to 13-12 and 6-4 in NECC action. The Nighthawks look to get back to their winning ways when they return to the hard-court tomorrow evening, Thursday, hosting NECC foe Southern Vermont College at 7:00 p.m.
Jake Powell's 28-kill performance against the Blazers vaults him over former Nighthawks Danny Kim and Dean LaSalle for third place amongst Newbury's all-time single-game leaders in kills – trailing only 2011 graduate James Beck (30 kills v. Endicott -- 2/15/11) and 2010 graduate Mark Thomas (29 kills v. Hunter College – 1/17/10).