QUINCY, Mass.- The No. 1 seed Eastern Nazarene College women's volleyball team captured the 2019 New England Collegiate Conference title after defeating No. 2 seed New England College 3-1 in the NECC Tournament championship match Sunday afternoon at the Lahue Physical Education Center.
The Lions improve to 17-6 on the year with the victory and earns the league's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. The Pilgrims finish the year with an overall record of 14-12.
Ruth Aguilar (Tegucigalpa, Honduras) was named the NECC Tournament's Most Outstanding Player while Courtney McCarthy (Merrimack, N.H.) and Jessica Caldwell (Quincy, Mass.) joined Aguilar on the All-Tournament Team.
New England College's Tihani Ehia and Jaycie Kodama along with Mitchell's Olivia DeLoach and Elms' Alanys Cruz were all selected to the All-Tournament Team.
Aguilar racked up a match-high 20 kills to go with 14 assists, nine digs, and four blocks. McCarthy finished with 12 kills and 13 digs. Amya Altman (Butler, Pa.) and Jessica Caldwell registered 11 digs each. Rebecca Thorne (Quincy, Mass.) posted six kills and five blocks while Halle Julian (Whitman, Mass.) notched a team-best six blocks. Samantha Caldwell (Quincy, Mass.) dished out 16 assists and Jenna Meacham (Millington, Mich.) chipped in with nine digs.
The home team cruised to a 25-9 win in the opening set to establish a 1-0 advantage in the match.
The visitors pulled even at 1-1 with a 25-21 victory in the second frame.
Eastern Nazarene reclaimed a one-set edge, 2-1, after prevailing 25-22 in the third.
The Lions locked up the program's first-ever NECC title with a 25-16 win in the fourth set.
Shirita Wimberly paced New England College with 13 kills while Ehia recorded 16 digs and seven kills. Kodama collected a match-high 28 digs and Maggie Dadmum added 20 assists.
Eastern Nazarene will learn its NCAA Tournament destination and opponent when the NCAA Tournament Selection Show airs Monday, November 11 at 12:30pm on www.ncaa.com.
2019 NECC Women's Volleyball All-Tournament Team & MVP
MVP: Ruth Aguilar, Eastern Nazarene
Olivia DeLoach, Mitchell
Alanys Cruz, Elms
Tihani Ehia, New England Col.
Jaycia Kodama, New England Col.
Jessica Caldwell, Eastern Nazarene
Courtney McCarthy, Eastern Nazarene