BEVERLY, Mass. – The Endicott men's volleyball program, which enters this season as the three-time defending New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) champion, has announced its 2016 schedule. A preview of how the Gulls will navigate through a tough non-conference slate to help them retain their NECC title can be found below.
Endicott will begin the season against Johnson & Wales University (JWU) on Friday, January 22 at 4 p.m. in the JWU Tip-Off before playing Rutgers-Newark, Springfield, and Lasell throughout the remainder of the two-day tournament. The last three teams that Endicott will play in the JWU Tip-Off all made the NCAA Tournament last year. All four teams combined for a 91-37 record (.711) in 2015.
The Gulls' remaining non-conference schedule also features notable matchups against MIT, Wentworth, Rivier, and Stevenson, and an additional contest versus Springfield and Lasell, among others on the ten match list. Rivier and Wentworth highlight the group – along with Lasell and Springfield – as teams that garnered a spot on the final 2015 NCAA New England Regional rankings, while MIT and Stevenson both registered near 20-win seasons, respectively. Among all ten teams on the remaining non-conference schedule, not counting matches in the JWU Tip-Off, Endicott will face a list of opponents that went 166-119 (.582) last season.
MATCHES TO WATCH
Besides the JWU Tip-Off and matches against opponents mentioned above – which can be found on the 2016 schedule – here's a look at what else to watch in 2016.
January 26 – Emerson vs. Endicott, 7 PM
NOTE: First home match of the season
February 11 – Southern Vermont vs Endicott, 7 PM
NOTE: The Gulls' first NECC match of 2016 features the top-2 teams in last season's NECC final regular season standings
February 17 – Regis vs. Endicott, 7 PM
NOTE: Endicott will look to defeat the Pride in a rematch of last year's NECC title match
February 24 – Lesley vs. Endicott, 8 PM
NOTE: The Gulls will look to remain undefeated against Lesley in program history (17-0)