NECC Observer

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

Women’s Volleyball semifinals and finals

The NECC Women’s Volleyball team were looking to become Region 21 champion for the first time since 2018.  

In the semifinals they hosted number 4 seed Holyoke Community College on Oct. 23.  

The Knights won the semifinals by shutting out the number 4 seed in three sets. Set one 25-18, set two 25-23 and set three 25-11 as they were waiting for the winner of number 2 seed Community College of Rhode Island Knights vs number 3 seed Massasoit Warriors.  

I had a chance to talk with Coach Mike Pelosi when the game ended. 

I feel really happy that we came this far this season it’s been a challenging season in a number of ways had a lot of injury and stuff so I’m proud that we made it this far,” he said. “I was surprised how hard the other team fought in the first match I was very impressed with how Holyoke came up fighting they were serving tough at us they were hitting hard at us the passing was very good as well so I really feel like we got to work for it in first match it was proud that we overcame that.”  

Although the Knights shutout Holyoke it was a tough match that they had to win to advance to the finals.  

The Knights overcame a lot of obstacles and challenges during the season but still managed to fight and not give up and still win, gaining the number 1 seed in the tournament.   

CCRI Knights defeated Massasoit Warriors to face the NECC Knights in the finals.  

On set 4 in the game versus Rhode Island, everyone thought it was over and the NECC Knights were Region 21 champions. However, there was an issue with the scoreboard and Rhode Island really won. The NECC Knights lost in decisive set 5 after both teams were tied 2-2. 

NECC Knights vs CCRI Knights finals for Region 21 championship on Oct. 23Photo by Jose Rodriguez, Sports Editor

NECC Knights vs CCRI Knights finals for Region 21 championship on Oct. 23

“I thought it was over like most of the crowd but I mean I didn’t feel that bad about it I thought CCRI did an amazing job fighting back,” said Coach Pelosi. “I thought we did a pretty good job in our side of the court but they dug in just in the right moment they refused to give up so you know I have a lot of respect I earn a lot of respect for them in that process so I don’t feel bad losing to an opponent like that.”  

Then I asked Coach Pelosi about the slow start the team had in the first set they were out-scored 0-5 and 1-7 to begin the first set and still managed to win that first set 27-25. 

“ In the beginning of the set we had some lineup issues and I think that was a distraction for the girls we were forced to make a last minute line up change,” he said. “I think that was a bit of distraction. I was very happy once they recognized that they can get their heads back in the game and started playing more of our level of playing.”  

After the game I spoke with Lismari Valdez of Haverhill about the disappointing lost in the finals. 

“It was definitely a good game.  It was a lot of pressure, a lot of injury this season so the fact … we were able to keep our head in the game and to fight this hard all the way until the end it was critical,” said Valdez.   

This season it was up and down for the NECC Knights women’s volleyball team. It takes a lot of hard work and chemistry to work together to be in the position that they were coming close to winning the Region 21 tournament for the first time in three years.  

  Ashly Dominguez, a Lawrence High School graduate, talked about the drama at the end of the first set that they came from behind to win. 

“I think that set was very stressful as it was point by point … I think the stress got to us a little bit but we worked really hard to keep getting our points, point by point knowing we could climb up there,” she said.  

The first set is always huge and key because if you win the first set most of the time you win the whole match. It was key for them to win that set in the beginning.  

For more information about the women’s volleyball schedule go to