North Adams, MA- The MCLA Volleyball program will be the fourth seed in this week's MASCAC championship, which kicks off Wednesday night with a match at home against fifth seeded Bridgewater State. The Trailblazers are seeking their third straight appearance in the MASCAC championship game, however are still in search of their first ever trip to the NCAA tournament.
The Trailblazers defeated the Bears earlier this season in a back and forth affair 3-2.
For the first time since 1986, the Worcester State Lancers claim the MASCAC Volleyball Regular Season Title and the top spot in next week's tournament.
The other quarterfinal on Wednesday features the third seed Westfield State entertaining sixth seed Salem State at 7 pm.
The winner of MCLA/Bridgewater State with play top seed Worcester State Saturday, November 4 at 2:30 pm with the winner of Westfield State/Salem State facing second seed Framingham State at 5 pm. The two semifinal winners will then meet 30 minutes following the second semifinal to determine the MASCAC tournament champion.
In the prior contest with the Bears, MCLA squeaked out a 3-2 victory by set scores of 25-20, 19-25, 25-19, 23-25, and 15-11. MCLA's Brooke Queripel, who leads the team in kills this season, collected 16 kills that afternoon to pace the Trailblazers. The 16 kills were the second highest total for the sophomore in her career. Maggie Allen is the second leading hitter for MCLA notching 141 kills on the season. Natasha Stewart has taken over as the primary setter for MCLA, the first year player collected 25 assists in the previous match with BSU.
On the defensive side, MCLA is paced by libero Mele Enomoto. The senior has dug 398 attacks in 2017 to easily lead the team. Earlier this season, she passed 1,000 for her career.
BSU is led by Kayla Baril, who leads the team in kills and collected 18 in the match with MCLA. Elexi Miskiv has set up the offense to the tune of 450 assists, while Cassidy Tyros leads the Bears with 386 digs.
Both teams combined for 63 errors in the contest, which could prove to be the decisive statistic in the rematch.
Worcester State earned the number one seed and a first round bye after finishing a perfect 7-0 in conference play. Leading the way is outside hitter Amari King. She currently is first in the league in kills per set (3.58) and total kills (394), fourth in service aces (52) and sixth in total digs (371).
Earning the other first round bye and the second seed in the tournament is Framingham State. The Rams were 5-2 in league action. Vicki Anderson was third in the conference during the regular season in digs (463) and fourth in digs per set (4.37) while collecting 41 service aces and 43 assists this season.
Westfield State grabs the third seed after finishing with a 5-2 record during the MASCAC schedule. Setter Brigid Murray finished with the third-most total assists (591) and assists per set (6.79) in the conference. She also tallied 185 digs and 39 services aces.
Up next in the fourth slot is MCLA who closed out the conference regular season with a 4-3 record. Brooke Queripel led the Trailblazers with 192 kills, 2.13 per set while also netting 142 digs, 22 total blocks and 22 service aces.
Rounding out this year's tournament field are Bridgewater State and Salem State. The Bears collected three wins during MASCAC action. Libero Cassidy Tyros led the team with 386 digs, fifth-most in the league while also registering 32 service aces and 73 assists. For the Vikings, they also had three wins during league play. Mackenzie Smalls ended the regular season fourth in service aces (52), assists (578) and assists per set (6.42). She also had 35 kills and seven total blocks.
Last season, Framingham State won their third straight MASCAC Tournament title with a 3-0 victory over MCLA to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament.