NASHUA, N.H. – The Endicott men's volleyball team clinched the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) regular season title with its 3-2 win against Daniel Webster on Saturday night by scores of 21-25, 25-20, 20-25, 25-20, 15-10 at the Mario Vagge Gym.
By winning the NECC regular season title, Endicott (15-10, 9-1 NECC) has earned the right to host the four-team NECC Men's Volleyball Tournament next Friday and Saturday at MacDonald Gymnasium. First-seeded Endicott will take on Elms (12-14, 4-6 NECC) in the first match of the semifinal round on Friday at a time to be determined later, while second-seeded Regis (12-11, 8-2 NECC) will play third-seeded Daniel Webster (15-12, 7-3) in the second semifinal matchup (40 minutes after match one).
Both semifinal round winners will then play for the NECC Men's Volleyball Tournament title, and an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament, on Saturday in Beverly, Mass. at a time to be determined later.
Cameron Little (San Diego, Calif.) ran a Gulls' attack that compiled its second-most kills (67) in a match this season by dishing out a career-high 61 assists to highlight the victory. John Osborne (Freehold, N.J.) also tied his career-high for kills for the fifth time in his career tonight as the senior outside led all student-athletes with a match-high 20 putaways, to go along with 13 digs to register his third double-double of the year.
Jeremy Doski (Sandy Hook, Conn.) added 16 kills on 45 swings (.343 hitting percentage) and notched 11 digs, while Troy Riorden (Fairport, N.Y.) compiled nine kills and a team-high 17 digs. Alex Wasik (Milford, Mass.) also contributed nine kills (.533), and Daniel Toth (Glenwood, N.J.) tallied 13 kills (.286) in the win.
Trailing 2-1 in the match, Endicott erased a 7-7 tie in set four by orchestrating a 10-5 run to make it a 17-12 contest and never looked back. After winning set four, 25-20, the Gulls capitalized on their newfound momentum and jumped out to a 5-2 advantage in set five behind a pair of kills from Toth.
Daniel Webster went on to cut into its deficit at 5-4, via three errors by Endicott, but that's as close as the Eagles came to challenging the Gulls in set five. Endicott rattled off another run, this time a 4-1 spurt, for a 10-5 gap on the scoreboard and used kills from Osborne, Doski, and Toth down the stretch to lock up the eventual 15-10 set-five win, and the match.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- With tonight's victory, the Gulls (15-10/9-1 NECC) have now won 15 or more matches in a single-season for the 13th time in program history, and 10th season in a row.
- Since joining the NECC in 2012, Endicott has captured five straight regular season titles and also compiled a 56-2 conference record during that span.
- The Gulls are 3-0 against Daniel Webster this season, and 21-0 in the all-time series, which dates back to February 6, 2009.
- Tonight's match featured 26 tied scores and 15 lead changes. The bulk of those two statistics came in set one (11 ties, 8 lead changes) and set two (6 ties, 4 lead changes).
FOR THE FOES
- Saunoa Afoa (Las Vegas, Nev.) paced the Eagles with 19 kills (.357) and eight digs.
- Darrien Mason (Farmington, Conn.) notched 10 kills, while Ryan Howdeshell (Fairbanks, Alaska) put together a double-double on 14 kills (.375) and 13 digs.
- Tommy Reyes (Providence, R.I.) had nine kills and 12 digs in the loss.
- Nathan Makaiwi (Las Vegas, Nev.) logged a double-double with 51 assists and a match-high/career-high 22 digs.