NECC Observer

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

Top-seeded volleyball team heads into tournament

The NECC Knights volleyball team plays Mass Bay Community CollegePhoto by Jose Rodriguez, Sports Editor

The NECC Knights volleyball in action against Mass Bay Community College on Oct. 16.

The top-seeded NECC women’s volleyball team will host the NJCAA Region 21 tournament Oct. 23 at the Sports and Fitness Center.

The volleyball head coach is Mike Pelosi. It is his first head coach job at college, but he has experience coaching in high school and clubs.

Pelosi has more than 10 years experience with the Pumas Volleyball Club in North Andover and has experience at both Haverhill High School and Timberlane Regional High School.

On Saturday, Oct. 16 at noon the NECC women’s volleyball team faced off against Mass Bay Community College in the Sports and Fitness Center on the Haverhill campus.  Entering the Oct. 16 game the NECC Knights were five and one in conference games. That’s good for a .833% overall in their season. They were five and seven coming into the Oct. 16 contest. In non-conference games they were 0 and six, according to the NECC Knights website.

The first set they started off with a 5-0 and a 15-2 run to win the set 25-6.

They came aggressive as the game started. They had energy as the game progressed, and they were hungry to win.

This season in 10 matches NECC freshman Dejaale Torres of Lawrence had 2.54 kills per set, .080 hitting percentage, 0.32 assist per set, 0.30 blocks per set, 0.65 service aces per set and a 2.65 digs per set, according to the NECC Knights website.

The first team to win three sets wins the game. The first set is always key to win because that means the other team has pressure.   “After we played the first set it really brought our energy up and we started playing better,” said Torres.

The players were confident that they could put this game away after winning the first set.

The second set they started off to a slow start but managed to win the set 25-16.

Lowell High School graduate freshman Kaithlene Perez-Flores in 10 matches had stats of 1.49 kills per set, .084 hitting percentage, 0.27 assist per set, 0.11 service aces per set and 3.22 digs per set before the  Oct. 16 game, according to the NECC Knights website.

NECC Knights volleyball team celebrates after winning a set in a game against Mass Bay Community College Oct. 16. Photo by Jose Rodriguez, Sports Editor

NECC Knights volleyball team celebrates after winning a set in a game against Mass Bay Community College Oct. 16.

They were able to come back midpoint during the second set to win. “I feel like we all pick each other up and start focusing on the mistake and focused in the next point what we can do to fix that,” Perez-Flores said.

It was key for the team to focus and rebound to win the set after starting the second half slow. When the Knights had a 2-0 set lead that gave Mass Bay Community College almost no chance to win the game.

The third set they started a 14-2 run that was enough to defeat Mass Bay Community College in three straight sets 25-6, 25-16 and 25-7.  Before the game Coach Pelosi told the girls “we played this team before we had a success outcome against them, and I wanted to make sure that we came in with the same sense of focus and urgency against them so what I told them the outcome is not decided yet and it is not going to be the better team that win this match it’s going to be the team that plays better today.”

They had a pretty good idea who they were facing as they were facing the same team nine days prior of the Oct. 16 match up at Mass Bay Community College.  The Knights  won the season series against Mass Bay by going 2-0 and each time they faced each other the Knights shut out Mass Bay three set to 0.

The Knights team has home field advantage for the Oct. 23 game as they start a Region 21 tournament.They will play Holyoke Community College at 11 a.m. The winner will play the championship game at 3 p.m.