CHICOPEE, Mass. – The second-seeded Endicott men's volleyball team defeated first-seeded Elms, 3-1, by scores of 23-25, 25-21, 25-17, and 25-22 in the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) championship match on Saturday evening to capture its sixth title in program history.
Donovan Dey (Fairport, N.Y.) paced the Gulls with a match-high 18 kills on 37 swings (.324) to go along with seven digs and one block assist. For his efforts, Dey was named the NECC Tournament Most Valuable Player (MVP).
Bryn Lipton (Rockford, Ill.) also contributed a double-double via 12 kills and 14 digs in the win, while Jeremy Doski (Sandy Hook, Conn.) notched seven kills, a match-high 35 assists, eight digs and two blocks (one solo, one assisted). Both Lipton and Doski were named to the NECC All-Tournament Team along with Dey.
The first set went the way everyone thought it would with the two teams exchanging points throughout. Neither team was able to get more than a two-point lead until Jeremy Torres (Juncos, P.R.) delivered a kill on an assist from Carlos Mercado (Barranquitas, P.R.), which gave the Blazers a 20-15 lead. Endicott would make a run of their own behind two big kills from Bryn Lipton to level the score 22-22. The Blazers would take advantage of a service error and an attack error and win the set 25-23.
The second set saw more back and forth action with both teams exchanging points. With the score 20-19, Donovan Dey delivered a kill that pushed Endicott out front 23-20 and on to a 25-21 set win. The third set saw Endicott come out with all of the momentum and jump out to a 20-11 lead behind kills from Dey and Lipton. The Blazers were never able to get back into the set and would lose it 25-17.
The fourth set saw the Gulls jump out to a 15-9 lead. Elms would battle back behind two kills from Daniel Martinez (Bayamon, P.R.) and even the score at 20-20. Dey would then step up and get two big kills to secure the fourth set and the match for the Gulls 25-22.
Endicott (25-6) awaits the announcement of its NCAA Tournament seeding until Monday's NCAA Selection Show at 10am. Elms (28-5) will await a potential at-large bid bid and are strong contenders as they currently rank No. 3 in the NCAA East Regional Rankings.