QUINCY, Mass.- Southern Vermont captured the 2018 New England Collegiate Conference Tournament title with a 3-1 win over Eastern Nazarene Sunday afternoon at the Lahue Physical Education Center.
The top-seeded Lions finish the season 20-7 overall with the result. The third-seeded Mountaineers improve to 21-6 and earn the league's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
Southern Vermont was led by NECC Tournament MVP Liv Sowles with 28 kills along with all-tournament team honorees Sarah Baty with 44 assists and 12 digs and Heidy Benitez with 38 digs.
Aguilar posted a triple-double with 21 digs, 20 assists, and 12 kills on the day. McCarthy finished with 16 kills and 19 digs.
The visitors seized a 1-0 lead after capturing the opening set 25-21.
Southern Vermont stretched its advantage to 2-0 with a narrow 25-23 decision in the second frame.
Eastern Nazarene clawed back into the match with a 25-14 win in the third to cut the deficit to 2-1. The home side rattled off the final eight points of the set to get on the board.
In the fourth set, the Lions fell behind 19-10 before battling back with nine unanswered points to grab a 23-22 edge. The Mountaineers chalked up back-to-back points to take a 24-23 lead. Eastern
Nazarene fought off match-point three times before Southern Vermont scored the final two points to close out the match and clinch its fourth NECC title.
2018 NECC Women's Volleyball MVP
Liv Sowles, Southern Vermont
2018 NECC Women's Volleyball All-Tournament Team
Dakota Stewart, Elms College
Tihani Ehia, New England College
Courtney McCarthy, Eastern Nazarene College
Ruth Aguilar, Eastern Nazarene College
Heidy Benitez, Southern Vermont College
Sarah Baty, Southern Vermont College