NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Women’s volleyball home opener the battle of the Knights

On Tuesday Sept. 20, Community College of Rhode Island CCRI Knights defeated NECC Knights three sets to one at the Sports and Fitness Center in the Haverhill campus in Haverhill, Mass.

First set 25-16 NECC Knights lost, second set 25-13 NECC Knights lost, third set NECC Knights won 34-32 and the fourth set NECC Knights lost 25-23.

It was the home opener for the women’s volleyball team and it was also a rematch of the 2021 Region 21 finals.

They had a big crowd watching that game thanks to the men’s soccer team as soon as they finished their game against Roxbury. They went to the Sports and Fitness Center about 45 to 50 minutes from the start of the women’s volleyball game to cheer on for the NECC Knights.

NECC Women’s Volleyball head coach Mike Pelosi of Haverhill said after the game “I thought that was great. I really thought that I should probably thank them. I really appreciated them coming, it did make a difference. I think it was enjoyable for the players to have a crowd and I think they did a great job cheering, constructively it helped bring some energy in the court and I think obviously during the match we got some ups and downs and I think they help us getting some up swings with the momentum.

The game officially started at 6:47 p.m.

The Knights of NECC started the game on an 8-3 run before CCRI Knights decided to call a time out.

After the time out CCRI Knights went on a 7-0 run.

NECC head coach Pelosi called two timeouts in the first set to try to motivate his players and try to win that first set. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen as the Knights lost the first set 25-16.

Coach Pelosi and assistant head coach Reardon talking to the players Photo by Bryan Thomas

Coach Pelosi and assistant head coach Reardon talking to the players

In the second set CCRI Knights started on a 4-0 run before the Knights of NECC finally cashed in and scored a point on the second set to make it 4 to 1. Then the Knights of NECC was losing 10 to 5 when coach Pelosi decided to use his first timeout of the second set.

The Knights lost the second set two games to none.

On the third set it was a classic battle between CCRI Knights and the Knights of NECC.

The NECC Knights were s looking to avoid getting shutout for the third time in five games.

The NECC Knights played more aggressively in the third set and arguably the best set that they ever had so far in this 2022 campaign.

The Knights were up 10 to 7, 15 to 14 and the game was tied at 22.

When the game is tied at 24, which indeed happened in the third set it was 24-24 one point in the game instead of 25, to win the set you must win by two points..

It was a back and forth battle. CCRI scored. NECC scored. It was like that set was never going to end. Instead finally the NECC Knights forced a set four and won the third set 34-32.

Coach Pelosi and I talked about how intense the third set was. “Yeah that was a terrific one I tell them a lot these teams are not easy teams, especially CCRI, the coach is great …. he knows his stuff and we have

to work, we are not getting any freebies this year we got to work for every single game and I think they got in a good competitive mindset… players are not going to play at their best if they don’t really believe they can win…” he said.

Coach Pelosi also believed winning the third set put pressure on CCRI for the forth set.

The Knights of NECC were up 13 to 9 in the fourth set and were taking advantage of the mistakes of CCRI. The Knights were up 21 to 17, they just needed four more points to force set five and possibly one of the biggest upset in the season. Instead CCRI came back. It was 23-23 at one point in the game and CCRI defeated NECC 25-23 in set four and won the game three set to one.