Each team mentioned is listed along with their 2013 overall record.
BEVERLY, Mass. – Coming off a 22-win season that saw the Endicott men's volleyball team win the 2013 NECC Championship and host a match in their first ever NCAA Division III Tournament appearance, the Gulls have set a schedule for the 2014 season that will hopefully prepare them for another postseason run on the national stage.
The 2014 regular season schedule consists of 16 non-conference matches, including three invitational tournaments and a cross-country trip to California, and 12 in-conference matches as the Blue and Green look to repeat as NECC champions and earn their second automatic qualifying bid into the NCAA Tournament.
Several of Endicott's non-conference opposition are contenders for a national title year-in and year-out including the two-time defending NCAA champion Springfield (32-3) and two national semifinalists in Baruch (34-6) and Rivier (27-12). The Gulls meet the reigning champs at the Springfield Invitational on April 4th as well as Stevens (25-10) and Medaille (17-15) who finished ranked #7 and #15 in the country at the end of last season and first-year program Marymount (Va.).
The Gulls will face off with #3 Baruch as part of their three-match season opener at the Rivier Invitational from February 1st-2nd as well as the host Raiders who ranked #6 in the final national poll and Daniel Webster for a early season tilt against their NECC rival with no conference repercussions. Endicott and Rivier will meet three times in 2014 with their other match ups coming at the Endicott March Mania Invitational on March 8th and one week later across the country at the UC Santa Cruz (15-8) Slug Slam Invitational in California. UC Santa Cruz lost to NCAA runner-up Nazareth (36-2) in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament but finished the year ranked #4 in the nation. Endicott will play the Banana Slugs twice over the weekend of March 15th-16th.
Another marquee non-conference match will be on February 15th when Endicott takes on Vassar (20-13) who ended their season ranked 12th in the country. That match will be played at Emerson as part of a tri-match.
Endicott's invitational tournament from March 8th-9th consists of matches against the previously mentioned Rivier Raiders, Sage (30-7), and NECC rival Daniel Webster (15-13). Endicott bested Daniel Webster in three meetings during the 2013 season but did not face them in the NECC playoffs as the Eagles lost their semifinal match to Elms. The Gulls visit Daniel Webster on March 31st in their second-to-last NECC match of the regular season.
Endicott will also look forward to critical NECC showdowns with Elms (15-14) and Newbury (8-13) as each conference team plays the league twice. The season culminates in the four-team NECC Tournament, scheduled for April 12th-13th at the site of the top seed institution.