Third seeded Volleyball set to battle second seeded Westfield State on Saturday in Framingham
North Adams, MA- Heading into the 2016 season, the MCLA Volleyball program felt like there was some unfinished business to take care. After hosting last seasons MASCAC championship game and falling just short, the Trailblazers set their sights high for 2016. Those goals are still in front of the third seeded Trailblazers as they prepare to challenge the second seed, the Westfield State University Owls on Saturday at 1pm on the campus of Framingham State in the second MASCAC semifinal.
The first semifinal matchup will pit the host Rams, the tournament's top seed, against the 4th seeded Bridgewater State University Bears. The winners of the semifinal matchups will meet for the MASCAC championship 30 minutes after the Trailblazers semifinal game.
While MCLA and Westfield State are no strangers to each other, it seems like a long time ago when the two teams met last back on September 13th in North Adams. The Owls came away with a 3-0 win (26-24, 26-24, 25-19) over MCLA that night in what was Westfield's first win of the young season. Jen Green led the Owls with 12 kills while Allison Clark paced MCLA with a 13 kill performance.
Since that game, the Owls went 12-10 which included a 5-1 mark in conference play as they finished at 13-17 on the season. MCLA will enter the rematch at 16-13 overall, but has won their last six outings including Wednesday's MASCAC quarterfinal win over sixth seeded Salem State.
For MCLA, everything starts with Clark. The senior has rewritten the record books at MCLA as she broke the career kills record against the Vikings and is nearing 800 for her career. Clark also leads the team in digs and can be a factor in all phases of the match. Fellow senior Sam Anderson has played well of late and provided offensive support for Clark and junior Maggie Allen has also swung well over the current winning streak.
The Owls are paced by first team All MASCAC performer Lizzie Taylor. She leads the team in digs and can be very effective serving the ball. Green was also a first team All MASCAC selection and will lead the offensive attack for the Owls.
The Trailblazers defeated the Owls twice last season on their path to the conference championship game. Framingham State defeated the Trailblazers 3-0 last year to secure the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.
11:00am- #1 Framingham State vs. #4 Bridgewater State
1:00pm- #3 MCLA vs. #2 Westfield State
***Two winners will meet 30 minutes after completion of second game for 2016 MASCAC championship