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Women’s Volleyball Claims Second-Straight NECC Championship, Draws MIT in NCAA Tournament First Round

Nov 8, 2021

The Eastern Nazarene College women’s volleyball team captured its second-consecutive New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) title with a 3-1 victory at top-seeded New England College Sunday afternoon in the NECC Tournament finals.

The Lions improve to 17-10 on the year with the win and punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in program history.

Senior Ruth Aguilar (Tegucigalpa, Honduras) was named the NECC Tournament MVP while rookies Eliana Baran (Beaumont, Calif.) and Emma Graves (Berkshire, N.Y.) were both tabbed to the All-Tournament team.

Baran notched a match-best 18 kills and Graves racked up 15 kills on the day. Aguilar posted a double-double with 43 assists and 15 digs to go with three blocks. Telma Zelaya (Tegucigalpa, Honduras) tallied 11 kills while Amya Altman (Butler, Pa.) collected a team-high 21 digs. Samantha Thornton (Bartlett, Tenn.) registered 15 digs and Jessica Caldwell (Quincy, Mass.) chipped in with 12 digs.

The guests prevailed 25-21 in the first frame to capture a 1-0 edge, closing out the set with a 7-1 run. Eastern Nazarene eked out a 25-23 victory in the second set to double its advantage to 2-0. New England College claimed the third 25-18 to cut the deficit to 2-1. The Lions triumphed 25-21 in the fourth frame to lock up their second NECC crown.

Fresh off of clinching its second-straight New England Collegiate Conference championship, the Eastern Nazarene College women’s volleyball team drew No. 22 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the NCAA Tournament First Round. The match will be played Friday, November 12 at MIT’s Rockwell Cage as the 64-team field was unveiled Monday. Fans are required to wear masks.

The Engineers boast a 26-3 overall record and earned their 20th NCAA Tournament berth after capturing their seventh NEWMAC championship. MIT is ranked No. 22 in the latest AVCA National Coaches Poll and No. 1 in the NCAA Regional Rankings.

Eastern Nazarene and MIT have faced off 41 previous times with the Engineers holding a 27-14 edge. The two teams last squared off in 2014 with MIT prevailing.

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