BEVERLY, Mass. – The first-seeded Endicott men's volleyball team captured its fourth straight New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Tournament championship with a 3-1 (23-25, 25-18, 25-23, 25-19) win against third-seeded Daniel Webster on Saturday afternoon at MacDonald Gymnasium.
John Osborne (Freehold, N.J.) was named the NECC Tournament Most Valuable Player for the second consecutive season, as the senior outside registered a double-double on 17 kills (.318) and a match-high 14 digs. Osborne also added three assists and a perfect serve-receive percentage (19 total attempts) to his stat line in the victory.
Jeremy Doski (Sandy Hook, Conn.) notched a match-high 20 kills (.400) to aid the Gulls to their fourth straight title, while Troy Riorden (Fairport, N.Y.) put together his second double-double of the season with 15 kills and 10 digs.
Cameron Little (San Diego, Calif.) ran the offense with 57 assists on 121 attempts (.471), alongside six digs, while Ryan Healy (Fair Lawn, N.J.) helped guide the back row with 10 digs and a .957 serve-receive percentage (22 attempts). Chandler Tayek (Rolling Hills Estates, Calif.) also contributed seven digs, and Daniel Toth (Glenwood, N.J.) and Alex Wasik (Milford, Mass.) registered kill totals of six and five, respectively, to round out the list of highlights for the Gulls.
Daniel Webster was led by Tommy Reyes (Providence, R.I.) in the loss as the junior outside compiled a team-high 17 kills (.433), in addition to five digs, two blocks, and a service ace. Ryan Howdeshell (Fairbanks, Alaska) added nine kills and nine digs, while Saunoa Afoa (Las Vegas, Nev.) had eight kills, ten digs, three blocks, and three assists.
Darrien Mason (Farmington, Conn.) also tallied seven kills and six blocks, while Nate Makaiwi (Las Vegas, Nev.) concluded the individual achievements for the Eagles with 39 assists (.406), 13 digs, and two blocks.
Tied 20-20 in set one, Daniel Webster used a late 5-3 run – which included a pair of kills from Afoa – to take a 1-0 lead in the match (25-23). Endicott responded in set two as the Gulls limited the Eagles to a match-low .088 hitting percentage behind a set-high 15 digs to claim an eventual 25-18 second-set victory, and even the match at 1-1.
Set three was the difference for the Gulls as the defending champs withstood 12 tied scores and four lead changes for a 25-23 win, and a 2-1 advantage in the match. The third set was the most contested set out of the entire match as Endicott never led by more than four points. The Gulls also received three errors down the stretch by the Eagles and a kill from Doski with the scored tied at 21-21 to help lock up the set-three victory.
In set four, Endicott raced out to an 18-9 lead – the highest point differential in any set – before defeating Daniel Webster 25-19 to clinch its fourth straight NECC title.
NECC ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
MVP – John Osborne (Endicott)
Cameron Little (Endicott)
Jeremy Doski (Endicott)
Darrien Mason (Daniel Webster)
Tommy Reyes (Daniel Webster)
Gabriel Reis Levy (Elms)
Sean Bisnett (Regis)
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Endicott is 4-0 this season against Daniel Webster, and 22-0 all-time versus the Eagles dating back to February 6, 2009.
- Today's match marked a rematch of the 2014 NECC Tournament title game, which the Gulls won by an identical 3-1 score.
- The senior class of Dan Seaver (Milford, Mass.), Little, Osborne, Tayek, and Wasik are the first class in program history to win four conference championships.
Endicott (17-10) advances to the NCAA Tournament by earning the NECC automatic bid, and will await word on its opponent in the upcoming NCAA Tournament Selection Show that will air on the NCAA.com website on Monday, April 11 at 10 a.m. Daniel Webster sees its season come to a close at 16-13 overall.