Endicott Eyes Three-peat as CCC Women's Volleyball Preseason Favorite

Endicott Eyes Three-peat as CCC Women's Volleyball Preseason Favorite

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Endicott women’s volleyball team is in search of its third straight Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Tournament Championship this season and will start off the year as the preseason favorite as determined by the CCC Preseason Coaches’ Poll.

The Gulls claimed 78 points in this year’s voting, including six of the possible nine first place votes cast by the league’s nine head volleyball coaches.

A year ago, the reigning champions went 8-1 (22-10 overall) in conference play and qualified for the CCC Championship Tournament as the No. 2 seed. They advanced to CCC Championship match, where they edged out top-seeded Roger Williams, 3-2, in a five-set thriller. In the NCAA Tournament, the Gulls fell to Ithaca in the First Round.

Roger Williams lands in the No. 2 spot in this year’s poll after finishing 2017 with a perfect 9-0 record (20-7 overall) in CCC play to claim the Regular-Season Championship. The Hawks came back from a 2-1 deficit in the Championship match to force a fifth set before surrendering the title to the Gulls.

Salve Regina was the last school to claim a first place vote this year. The Seahawks, which made a CCC Semifinals appearance last year, earned 54 points in the voting and sit in the No. 3 hole. The other CCC Semifinalist, Wentworth, earned 52 points to finish fourth in the rankings.

Western New England (48 points), Gordon (41), the University of New England (31), Curry (18), and Nichols (10) closed out the poll in that order.

Women’s volleyball starts up on Friday, Aug. 31 with seven of the nine CCC teams in non-conference action. The conference schedule begins on Wednesday, Sept. 19. This year’s conference tournament features a slightly modified format with the top seven teams qualifying. The tournament will begin on Tuesday, Oct. 30 with three quarterfinal matches as the top seed will receive a bye. Quarterfinal winners will advance to the semifinals on Thursday, Nov. 1 followed by the Championship match on Saturday, Nov. 3. The CCC Tournament Champion will earn the conference’s automatic qualifier in to the 2018 NCAA Division III Women’s Volleyball Championship.

Click HERE to view the whole 2018 CCC women’s volleyball schedule.

 

2018 CCC Women's Volleyball Preseason Coaches' Poll

  Team Points (First Place Votes)
1. Endicott 78 (6)
2. Roger Williams 73 (2)
3. Salve Regina 54 (1)
4. Wentworth 52
5. Western New England 48
6. Gordon 41
7. University of New England 31
8. Curry 18
9. Nichols 10

 

2018 CCC Women's Volleyball Previews

Contributed by each school's sports information department.

 

1. Endicott

Coming off of back to back CCC Tournament titles and NCAA DIII Tournament appearances, the Endicott Gulls hope to make it three in a row behind reigning CCC Player of the Year and AVCA DIII All-America Honorable mention Emma Mancini (Lynnfield, Mass.). Under 19th-year head coach Tim Byram, the Gulls will look to seniors Emily Diezemann (Peabody, Mass.) and Mancini to set the tone after a 22-10 season in 2017 that saw the Gulls take down RWU for the second straight season in the CCC Championship. Endicott's season gets underway on Friday, Aug. 31 when it plays host to Wellesley.

  Emma Mancini, EC

2. Roger Williams

The Roger Williams women’s volleyball team is looking to have another dominating season in 2018. Last year, it finished 20-7 overall and 8-0 in conference play earning the No. 1 seed in the CCC Tournament. Head Coach Dani Soubliere was named CCC Coach of the Year and led her team to the CCC Championship match. This year, the Hawks look to regain the conference title. Though RWU loses last year’s CCC Libero of the Year, RWU still returns two All-CCC First Team selections including senior Molly Quilty (Duxbury, Mass.). Last year, Quilty was named to the AVCA All-New England Team, honored as an AVCA All-American Honorable Mention, and was the NCAA Division III statistical champion in blocks per set.

  Molly Quilty, RWU

3. Salve Regina

Head coach Lauren Parsons enters her seventh season leading the Seahawks. The team has made the playoffs in each of the six previous seasons including two conference championship matches. The Seahawks return 11 players from last season’s team including first-team All-CCC middle blocker Annie Donahue (Chelmsford, Mass.) who led the team in both kills and blocks.  “We have many returners with a lot of playing experience and I feel we are going to have multiple contributors from all positions this season,” said Parsons.  “The incoming class is talented and aggressive and the dynamic of the team is very competitive.”

   Annie Donahue, SRU


4. Wentworth

Evin Giglio enters his seventh season as the head coach for the Wentworth women’s volleyball team, after steering the Leopards to a banner season in 2017. Wentworth finished with a 25-5 overall record, its winningest season in program history, and hosted its second-ever CCC postseason tournament match as the fourth seed after earning a program-best six wins against conference foes. The Leopards highlighted the breakout year with a five-set victory over Western New England in the quarterfinal round, led by CCC All-Conference sophomore standouts Leah Rogoz (Woodridge, Ill.) and Claire Quick (Mission Viejo, Calif), who each posted double-doubles in the match. Rogoz, a two-time All-CCC First Team honoree and 2016 Rookie of the Year, ranked second among conference opponents in kills per set with 3.36, and third in total kills with 338. Quick was placed on the Second Team in 2017, improving from her Third Team selection in 2016, and finished eighth in the CCC in digs per set (3.82), seventh in total digs (363), and eighth in kills (256). The Leopards also return Samantha Lassiter (Rogers, Ark.), who ranked third in the CCC with a .316 hitting percentage – highlighted by .416 hitting in the Leopards’ five-set playoff victory – and Lillie Clark (Vista, Calif.), whose 58 aces ranked second across the conference.

Wentworth commences the 2018 season with a tri-match at New England College with Mount Holyoke on Aug. 31.

  Leah RogozWIT

5. Western New England

The Golden Bears will look to build on last season’s 16-14 (5-4 CCC) campaign under third-year head coach Samantha Shomo ’11.

Western New England’s young roster features just one senior in outside hitter Jenna Ferguson (Ellington, Conn.), while junior Cassandra Holmes (Ellington, Conn.) and sophomore Abigail Bundy (Lebanon, Conn.) return to play key roles in the middle. Junior Kierah Parker (Middletown, Conn.) is also back after missing all of last season with an injury.

The Golden Bears open their 2018 campaign on the road with four matches at the Kean University Invitational Sept. 1-2, before returning home to host Connecticut College on Wednesday, Sept. 5. CCC play gets underway on Wednesday, Sept. 19, when Western New England travels to Curry.

  Abigail Bundy, WNE

6. Gordon

Gordon returns five starters and four players that received All-CCC honors last year. Senior Mackenzie Hinds (Higganum, Conn.) and junior Amanda Snyder (San Jose, Calif.) received All-CCC Second Team honors. Hinds finished the season ranked fourth in the CCC in kills with 332 with Snyder finishing right behind her in fifth with 329 kills. Sophomore Ashlyn Gergins (Murrieta, Calif.) and junior Jenny Curtiss (Larkspur, Colo.) both received All-CCC Third Team honors and Gergins also was named CCC Rookie of the Year. Gergins finished the season ranked second in the CCC in assists with 851 and in assists per set at 8.10. Curtiss was ranked second in the CCC in digs with 483 and in digs per set at 4.60.

The Fighting Scots will host the Gordon Invitational to open the season with Neumann, Smith, Framingham State, and MCLA all participating. Their non-conference schedule includes an away match at MIT, which advanced to the Third Round of the NCAA Tournament last season, and playing in the Brandeis Invitational and Cardinal Quad hosted by Plattsburgh State. Gordon hosts Roger Williams Sept. 19 to open CCC play and will host a tri-match against Rivier and Maine-Presque Isle Sept. 29 for Homecoming.

 
Mackenzie Hinds, GC

7. University of New England

The University of New England and 39th-year head coach Karol L'Heureux have five players that factored in at least 90 percent of the team's sets in 2017, when the Nor'easters made their 18th consecutive conference postseason appearance. Senior Rene Roggenbuck (Goffstown, N.H.) (214 kills, 80 blocks), sophomore Molly Camelo (Melrose, Mass.) (205 kills, 229 digs), sophomore Sydney Christiansen (Palatine, Ill.)(339 assists, 239 digs), and junior Katie Marsh (Melbourne, Australia) (350 digs) are the statistical leaders in the group of returners.

 
Rene Roggenbuck, UNE

8. Curry

Curry will look to improve upon last year's success which saw its best overall record with 11 wins and the season culminating in the program's second straight CCC Tournament appearance. Bori May, enters his second season at the helm. The squad will look for leadership on and off the court from junior captain Shea Mathews (Concord, N.H.). Junior transfer Alexis Bell (Salem, Conn.) will be another key player for the Colonels with her ability to distribute the ball and create offense on broken plays. Other key returners include sophomore Jordyn Keith (Whitman, Mass.) and junior Caroline Kilduff (Rockland, Mass.). Keith will be settling into her normal position as a libero/defensive specialist as she looks to be dominant in the back row. Kilduff looks to make a big splash in the middle as she improved her quickness and explosiveness. Rounding out the returners is junior setter Monica Wilkes (Franklin Lakes, N.J.), who handed out a team-high 614 assists last season. Some of the top newcomers include Amanda Wood (Tokyo, Japan) who has traveled across the globe to be a part of the Curry family. Freshmen Rachel Damstra (Houston, Texas) and Lexi Pereira (Attleboro, Mass.) round out the top newcomers as the Colonels look to grab their third straight CCC Tournament berth this fall.

 
Monica Wilkes, CC

9. Nichols

The Nichols College women’s volleyball program begins its first season under head coach John Post in 2018. Junior Megan Gardner (South Deerfield, Mass.) (116 kills) returns as the top hitter for the Bison while senior Sabrina Boermeester (Billerica, Mass.) is also back after missing much of 2017 due to injury. Senior Moriah Burns (Holland, Mass.) (62 kills, 21 aces) provides veteran leadership while junior Lexxus Andrews (Uxbridge, Mass.) hopes to build on a successful sophomore campaign. Post will also rely heavily on six freshmen to contribute and help the Bison make a push for the playoffs.

 
Megan Gardner, NC

 

ABOUT THE COMMONWEALTH COAST CONFERENCE

The Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), founded in 1984, is an NCAA Division III athletic conference comprised of nine full member and one associate member institutions throughout the New England region. Its membership aims to provide student-athletes with a positive experience in their pursuit of excellence through high academic standards, quality competition, and a meaningful student life. The conference administers championships in 18 intercollegiate sports.

 

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