BEVERLY, Mass. – The second-seeded Elms College men's volleyball team defeated first-seeded Endicott, 3-0, by scores of 25-12, 25-23, and 25-20 to capture the 2018 New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) championship on Saturday evening at MacDonald Gymnasium.
With the win, Elms has earned the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament and reached the 20-win milestone for the third time in program history. Today's victory over Endicott also marks the third time in program history Elms has won the NECC Championship (2009, 2012, 2018) and the first time in five straight seasons the Gulls have not been crowned the league champion.
Blazers' senior outside/opposite Gabriel Reis Levy (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) was named the NECC Tournament Most Valuable Player (MVP), while Jeremy Torres (Juncos, Puerto Rico) and Jovanny Torres (Juncos, Puerto Rico) were selected to the NECC All-Tournament Team.
Je. Torres paced all student-athletes with a match-high 15 kills (.273), five digs, and three blocks (two solo). Jo. Torres added seven kills and 10 digs, while Reis Levy had five kills, two digs, and three block assists.
Meanwhile, for Endicott, Donovan Dey (Fairport, N.Y.), Bryn Lipton (Rockford, Ill.), and Jeremy Doski (Sandy Hook, Conn.) all tied for the team-high in kills with five apiece. Dey and Ryan Healy (Fair Lawn, N.J.), who notched eight digs and went a perfect 17-for-17 on serve-receive, were both picked to the NECC All-Tournament Team.
Today's NECC championship match featured 11 ties and just four lead changes (two in set two, two in set three). As a team, Elms hit .245 (39K, 16E, 94 TA) and compiled 13.5 blocks (four solo, 19 assisted). The Blazers also held Endicott to a season-low .034 hitting percentage in large part to their block at the net and a back line that went 55-for-56 on serve-receive and a match-high 38 digs.
Elms (20-6) will await the announcement of its NCAA Tournament matchup next week. The Blazers will take a seven-match winning streak into the NCAA Tournament. Meanwhile, No. 14 nationally ranked Endicott (23-4) will await the announcement of a potential at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament next week as well.
Newbury - Cesar Cruz
Easter Nazarene - Kenny Sorensen
Endicott - Ryan Healy & Donovan Dey
Elms - Jeremy Torres & Jovanny Torres
Tournament MVP - Gabriel Reis Levy (Elms)