ERIE, Pa. -- Elmira continued its winning ways Wednesday as the Soaring Eagles downed Penn State-Behrend (11-7, 5-6 UVC) 3-1. Wednesday's win ups Elmira's current win streak to seven matches, the longest winning streak in Elmira's four-year history.
Elmira's Erik Griffin set the tone today as he registered 20 kills, marking the fourth time this season he has made 20 or more kills in a single match. Also turning in double-digit kills this afternoon were Dylan Kuhn and Ryan Gelenitis. Kuhn finished with 11 kills, tying his season high, while Gelenitis concluded the evening with 10 kills, marking the third consecutive match he has made 10 or more kills.
Orchestrating the Elmira offense was Michael Vellutato, who finished today's match with 50 assists. This marks the fourth time this season he has made 50 or more assists in a single match as well as the 15th time in his four-year EC career.
The first set started as a close affair, at least for the first 19 points, as Elmira held a slim 10-9 lead before winning four consecutive points to take a comfortable 14-9 lead. EC maintained their five-point advantage for most of the set and added to it with three consecutive points towards the end, giving the Soaring Eagles a commanding 21-14 lead. The Purple and Gold would eventually close out the first set 25-16.
In the second set, things were much closer in the later stages as Elmira held tight to a 21-19 lead. However, EC closed out the set with a strong effort, winning the final four points to claim the set at 25-19. Of the four Elmira points, one came on a kill by Kuhn, another came via a service ace from Griffin, and another on an assisted block by Kuhn and Gelenitis.
It looked like today was going to be a 3-0 sweep for the Soaring Eagles but a stingy Penn State-Behrend squad refused to go away quietly as the Lions stole the third set. The Lions closed out the third set by winning nine of the final 13 points to claim it 25-20.
Looking to close out the Lions, Elmira set the tone early in the fourth set, winning 14 of the sets first 19 points, taking a 14-5 lead. The nine point cushion proved to be enough as Elmira ran away with the fourth set 25-13.