Nighthawks and Gulls: Spot in the NECC Championship Awaits
For the first time since 2015, the Newbury Nighthawks are in the semifinals of the New England Collegiate Conference Tournament by virtue of a 3-0, (25-21, 25-20, 25-19) straight sets, victory over the No. 4 seeded Eastern Nazarene Lions on Tuesday night. Waiting for at the Nighthawks is the top-seed, No. 1 Endicott Gulls, who finished the season undefeated in the NECC at 12-0 and are winners of eight of their last nine in all competitions. The Gulls finished with a pair of 3-0 victories over the Nighthawks this season, accounting for two of the 12 NECC wins for the Gulls.
Gulls Efficient in First Meeting, 3-0 on March 1
In the first meeting of the Gulls and Nighthawks, Endicott finished the match hitting .538 from the field, committing 10 errors en route to a 3-0 win. Gulls junior Troy Riorden (Fairport, N.Y.) paced Endicott with a match-high 10 kills while senior Daniel Toth (Glenwood, N.J.) and freshman Bryn Lipton (Rockford, Ill.) added eight kills apiece. Nighthawks freshman Matt Sepe (Cranston, R.I.) and junior Joshua Thorne (Oxford, Conn.) matched for a team-high four kills.
Nighthawks Effort Falls Short, Fall 3-0 on March 25
In the other meeting this season, Endicott hit nearly .500 from the field, once again taking down the Nighthawks 3-0. Lipton finished the match with a game-high 11 kills on 16 attempts, hitting at .625. Freshman Tim Fieseler (Bridgewater, N.J.) finished with seven kills in 11 attempts. Sepe finished with a team-high eight kills. Thorne added four kills for the Nighthawks. Freshman Oscar Chavez (Independence, Ore.) tallied 15 assists.
NECC Semifinal Round (Thursday, April 13)
Game 3: #5 Newbury at #1 Endicott at 7:00 p.m.
Game 4: #3 Elms at #2 Regis (Mass.) at 6:00 p.m.
NECC Championship Match (Saturday, April 15)
Game 5: Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 4 at Best Seed Remaining at TBA Time