No. 5 Nighthawks, No. 4 Lions Battle for Spot in NECC Semis

Photo Credit: Katie Collins
Photo Credit: Katie Collins

Nighthawks Face Road Game at Eastern Nazarene in NECC Quarters

Following a season at 9-15 (4-8 NECC) in the New England Collegiate Conference, the Nighthawks earned the fifth seed in the NECC Playoffs. The Nighthawks travel to Quincy for a battle with the fourth-seeded Eastern Nazarene Lions on Tuesday night. The Lions, who finished 12-9 (5-7 NECC) in their first season, earned the five seed by virtue of two victories over the Nighthawks this season. On both occasions, the Nighthawks held a lead with a chance to close out matches, but both times, the Lions stormed back for dramatic 3-2 victories.

Lions Come Back From 0-2 Down on Opening Night

With the first two sets going to the Nighthawks (26-24 and 25-19), the Lions showed resiliency in their comeback in the final three sets (25-21, 25-23, 15-8). The Nighthawks couldn't take advantage of a 23-23 score in the fourth set, allowing it to slip away just two points later. Kenny Sorensen (Quincy, Mass.) led the Lions with 18 kills while adding two digs. Derek Fowler (Williamstown, N.J.) registered 16 kills and four digs on the night. Nighthawks Joshua Thorne (Oxford, Conn.) tallied a team-high 17 kills while adding six digs and three aces. Senior Nile Fox (Hampton, Va.) added 10 kills and three blocks.

Nighthawks Relinquish 2-1 Lead on March 25

The Nighthawks were again in control of the match on March 25, leading 2-1 after three sets (21-25, 25-15, 25-23). The fourth set favored the Lions, setting up yet another five-set match between the two sides. After the Lions jumped out to a 9-5 lead in the tiebreaker, the Nighthawks managed to charge back, tying the game at 13-13. Unfortunately for the Nighthawks, a Lions kill and a Newbury error would give the Lions the tiebreaker at 15-13. Sorensen again led the Lions, matching his 19 kills from the first match while adding 18 digs. Throne also equaled his total kills in the first match, recording 17 while adding 12 digs. Freshman Matt Sepe (Cranston, R.I.) finished 12 kills and 14 digs for the Nighthawks.

NECC Quarterfinal Round (Tuesday, April 11)

Game 1: #5 Newbury at #4 Eastern Nazarene at 7:00 p.m.

Game 2: #6 Southern Vt. at #3 Elms at 7:00 p.m.

NECC Semifinal Round (Thursday, April 13)

Game 3: #4 Eastern Nazarene/#5 Newbury at #1 Endicott at 7:00 p.m.

Game 4: #3 Elms/#6 Southern Vt. at #2 Regis (Mass.) at 6:00 p.m.