BEVERLY, Mass. – For the third straight year, the Endicott men's volleyball team has been crowned champions of the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) as the Gulls defended their top seed and home court with a 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-19) victory over #3 Regis on Saturday afternoon. Endicott (17-11) earns a berth into the 2015 NCAA Division III Men's Volleyball Tournament via automatic qualifier with the first round scheduled for Saturday, April 18th with the opponent and match time yet to be announced.
Junior outside hitter John Osborne (Freehold, N.J.) was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament while junior setter Cameron Little (San Diego, Calif.) also earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team. Osborne followed up a 14-kill match against Newbury in the semifinals with another 13 kills on a .333 hitting percentage with six digs and two block assists in the NECC Championship. Little totaled 64 assists over Endicott's six sets played (10.7 assists per set) while adding 10 digs and five block assists to his tournament totals.
Regis (12-16) saw freshman setter Ryan Husher (Camarillo, Calif.) and junior libero Renato Rosas (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) get named to the NECC All-Tournament Team after their efforts in securing the Pride's first conference championship appearance in program history. Husher totaled eight kills (.357), 18 assists, eight digs, and two block assists in the finals while Rosas, who put up 14 digs in the semifinals, added another three in the championship loss.
Endicott's Saturday success relied heavily on their blocking as middle blockers Ryan Sutherland(Fairport, N.Y.) and Daniel Toth (Vernon, N.J.) had six block assists apiece while junior right sideAlex Wasik (Milford, Mass.) was integral in his team's ability to erase a third-set deficit with four of his six assisted blocks coming in the final set. Sutherland, Toth, and Wasik all factored in offensively too with seven kills apiece falling for Sutherland and Toth while Wasik added another five.
Junior outside hitter Dan Seaver (Milford, Mass.) struck eight kills on a match-high 25 swings but made his presence felt most by helping to secure the final point in both the first and set sets. Seaver, Toth, and Wasik combined to triple block the Pride to close the first set 25-22 and in the second set squashed a late Regis comeback with a kill to end the third 25-23.
Senior libero Kristian Catalan (Sudbury, Mass.) defended a team-high seven digs in the win with Osborne adding six, Little adding five, and defensive specialists Troy Rioden (Fairport, N.Y.) andChandler Tayek (Rolling Hills Estates, Calif.) both registering four digs.
For Regis, freshman Marcos Aguirre (Norwalk, Calif.) finished with a team-high nine kills on a .400 hitting percentage while Josiah Rogue (Oxnard, Calif.) and Sean Bisnett (Oxnard, Calif.) both added six kills. Pride freshman middle Brett Krahl (Santa Clarita, Calif.) had an impressive three solo blocks and one assisted block the loss.
Endicott now looks ahead to the NCAA Tournament where they will be making their third appearance. In 2013, the Gulls suffered a 3-0 loss to Kean in the opening round but in 2014, Endicott upended #6 MIT in straight sets to reach to the NCAA Quarterfinals. The 2015 NCAA Selection Show will be held on Monday, April 13th at 10:00 a.m. and can be watched live online on the NCAA.com website.