Women defeat CCRI, advance to national tournament

a team photo of the Knights celebrating the win
A team photo of The Knights celebrating their win NECC athletics website

The Knights punched their ticket to the NJCAA tournament on Oct 29 with a three-set sweep over the community college of Rhode Island. The region 21 championship match victory secure a 2023 region district title, NECC’s first since 2018. The tournament takes place on Nov 9th and 10th in Cedar Rapids, IH. 

In the match The Knights (23-0) defeated CCRI with ease in three sets. The first set was 25-9, the second 25-14 and the final set 25-8.  

The Knights struck first with a kill by Abigail Heredia of Lawerence, MA In set one. CCRI responded with a point of their own to even the score at 1-1. A 6-1 Knights run followed to lead 7-2. A 5-2 run gave NECC a commanding 12-4 lead. CCRI picked up a point by a miscue from NECC. A 5-2 run from The Knights was highlighted by three kills fromHeredia. A six-point run ended the set 25-9.  

NECC picked up where they left off jumping out to a 3-0 start in set 2. CCRI collected a point through a service error by Chantel Melgen of Lawerence, MA. Each team traded points leading to a 4-2 Knights lead. The Knights started to pull away on an 8-4 run for a 12-4 Knights advantage. CCRI chipped away at the deficit collecting four points to trail by four 12-8. A kill by Telaviv Nunez assisted by Vielka Sanchez both of Lawerence, MA to extend the lead 21-11. The Knights closed match on a 4-3 run to win 25-14 and claimed a 2-0 set edge 

The third and final set was much of the same, NECC lead on a 12-2 run to start the set. The run was broken up by a kill from CCRI. A 12- 4 run put NECC within a point of victory. Sanchez hit a rocket over the net for an ace to win the match and the regional championship. 

Heredia had a team high 11 kills and a .579 kill percentage. 

On the defensive end Melgen and Lirianys Rosario of Lawerence recorded seven digs each. 

The most outstanding regional player award was given to Sanchez. Sanchez collected 10 aces and four kills in the match.