PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Led by the Little East Conference Tournament Most Outstanding Player Emilia Czapiewska (Saint Paul, Minn.) volleyball reclaimed its place atop the conference mountain as they bested the third-seeded Panthers of Plymouth State University by the final of 3-1 to earn the program's ninth title Saturday afternoon at Foley Gymnasium.
#4 UMass Boston 3, #3 Plymouth State University 1
UMass Boston (12-18)
Plymouth State University (32-5)
HOW IT HAPPENED
With the win UMass Boston becomes just the second four-seed in Little East Conference history to run the gamut and win the conference's championship. The championship also earned UMB the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, which will begin next Friday. The official NCAA Tournament bracket will be announced on Monday at 12:30 pm on www.NCAA.com.
The Beacons and Panthers exchanged points in the first set with neither team building any solid momentum. The Beacons hit just .088, while the Panthers managed just a .023 hitting percentage. UMass Boston would survive in the first frame as they earned a 25-22 victory. That hard fought victory carried over into the second as the Beacons cruised to a 25-15 win, to take a 2-0 lead on the scoreboard.
Down but certainly not out, the Panthers came clawing back in the third frame as they roared past the Beacons in front of packed gymnasium. Plymouth State would take a 25-20 win to force a fourth set. Despite the late surge by Plymouth State, the Beacons rolled to a conference record ninth title with a decisive 25-18 win.
Czapiewska's MVP performance consisted of 12 kills, a .286 hitting percentage, four digs, and five block assists. Marcelle Tiscareno (El Paso, Texas) also carried the Beacons offense with nine kills, while posting a .320 average to cap-off a solid postseason for the sophomore.
Carsen Komminsk (Worthington, Ohio) finished with 35 assists and nine digs as she controlled the Beacons offense. Aleks Qose (Athens, Greece) led the Beacons defense with 16 digs. At the net Sarah Doyle (Glendale, Calif.) registered one block solo and five block assists. Tyla Parker (Mahwah, N.J.) finished with 10 digs, and a team-high four aces.
BY THE NUMBERS
- All-time the Beacons are now 15-13 against Plymouth State
- UMass Boston improved to 9-1 in Little East Conference championship matches
- Interim head coach Kate Carlson '10 became the first alum to win a conference championship as a head coach of a Beacons program
- The Beacons have won 10-straight over the Panthers, and are now 5-2 in LEC Tournament play against PSU
- Beacons have won four-straight finals over the Panthers
- The Beacons also have the best LEC Tournament winning-percentage with a .694 mark
- Since the return of Czapiewska the Beacons are 6-2
- Doyle is now sitting tied for second all-time in program history in block solos with 120
The Beacons will find out who they will face in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, and where the eight team regional bracket will be played on Monday at 12:30 p.m. on www.NCAA.com.