BEVERLY, Mass. – The first-seeded Endicott men's volleyball team will look to capture its fifth straight conference title on Saturday at 2 PM when the Gulls host fifth-seeded Elms College in the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Tournament championship match at MacDonald Gymnasium.
THE MATCHUP: Endicott is 2-0 against Elms this season, and 29-3 all-time versus the Blazers dating back to January 31, 2003. The Gulls also hold a 15-2 record at home in the series.
Meanwhile, in their most recent playoff matchups as opponents, Endicott is 2-1 in the last three meetings. The Gulls posted a semifinals victory over Elms last season and a conference title win against the Blazers in 2013. Elms' lone victory over Endicott in their last three meetings came in the 2012 NECC championship, a 3-1 win for the Blazers.
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Endicott defeated Newbury on Thursday by a 3-0 score at home. The match never seemed in doubt for the Gulls despite playing through five tied scores and two lead changes in set two, and five more tied scores and three lead changes in set three. Newbury's biggest lead in either set was only two points, and the Nighthawks never held an advantage in set two or three past the 6-6 mark. Endicott also led the whole way in set one.
Elms bested second-seeded Regis, 3-1, after falling behind 1-0 in the match. It also marks the fourth straight year the No. 3 seed has topped the No. 2 seed in the NECC Tournament semifinals.
ENDICOTT (20-10 | ROSTER | SCHEDULE | STATS): The Gulls posted a perfect 12-0 league record to earn the No. 1 seed in the tournament and a bye into the semifinals. Endicott is currently 9-1 in its last 10 matches, which includes a 3-2 victory over No. 13 nationally ranked MIT. Among all conference teams, the Gulls are first overall in kills (1225) and points (1617.5), second in hitting percentage (.247) and assists per set (10.62), and third in digs per set (9.41).
ELMS (18-9 | ROSTER | SCHEDULE | STATS): The Blazers have won four in a row and eight of their last 10 headed into Saturday's match. Among all conference teams, Elms is third in kills (958), hitting percentage (.199), assists per set (9.77), blocks per set (1.37), and points (1253.0), and first in digs per set (11.24).
First Round – Tuesday, April 11th
Match 1: #5 Newbury College 3, #4 Eastern Nazarene College 0
Match 2: #3 Elms College 3, #6 Southern Vermont 0
Semifinals – Thursday, April 13th
Match 3: #1 Endicott 3, #5 Newbury 0
Match 4: #3 Elms 3, #2 Regis 1
Championship – Saturday, April 15th
Match 5: #3 Elms @ #1 Endicot, 2 PM