BEVERLY, Mass. – The first-seeded Endicott men's volleyball team (22-3) will begin its quest to capture its sixth straight conference title on Thursday at 7 PM when the Gulls host fourth-seeded Newbury College (5-17) in the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Tournament semifinals at MacDonald Gymnasium.
THE MATCHUP: Thursday's match will be a repeat of last year's NECC semifinals showdown that saw Endicott come away with a 3-0 victory. The Gulls, ranked No. 14 nationally in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Poll, are 32-10 all-time against Newbury. Endicott also has won 16 straight matches versus Newbury from 2/9/12 to 3/24/18. During that span, the Gulls have only dropped one set and have swept the Nighthawks, 3-0, in the last eight meetings.
SCOUTING ENDICOTT (ROSTER | SCHEDULE | STATS): The Gulls currently rank first among all NCAA Division III programs in kills per set (13.68), opponent hitting percentage (.093), and assists per set (12.62). Endicott also is ranked No. 4 in aces per set (2.38), No. 2 in hitting percentage (.348), No. 4 in match won-loss percentage (.880), and No. 29 in digs (10.61) and blocks (1.90) per set.
In addition to those gaudy national rankings, Endicott is 10-2 at home this season and 8-2 in its last 10 matches (won four in a row).
SCOUTING NEWBURY (ROSTER | SCHEDULE | STATS): The Nighthawks are fifth in the NECC in kills per set (7.38) and hitting percentage (.072), fourth in digs per set (10.06), third in blocks per set (1.04), and fifth in points per set (9.9).
Newbury also is 2-8 on the road this season and 3-7 in its last 10 matches.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
The winner of No. 1 Endicott/No. 4 Newbury will play the winner of No. 3 Eastern Nazarene/No. 2 Elms on Saturday for the NECC championship at the highest remaining seed (time TBA).
(Photo Credit - David Le '10)