2009 NECVA Tournament Field Announced, Rivier is No. 1 Seed


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JERSEY CITY, N.J. - After nearly three months of volleyball have been played, the North East Collegiate Volleyball Association has announced the field of 16 which will compete for the 2009 NECVA Championship from Friday, April 3 through Sunday, April 5 at Rockwell Cage and duPont Gymnasium, on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, MA. The NECVA Tournament Selection Committee announced the 2009 bracket on March 30, with the NECVA champion receiving the league's automatic bid to the Molten Division III Men's Invitational Volleyball Championship, to be held at Ramapo College. If Ramapo wins the 2009 conference title, the NECVA runner-up will also receive an automatic bid.

Overall, the top two teams in each of the conference's five divisions, plus six at-large selections from among the 32 other eligible schools in the league, will battle for the 15th NECVA championship. The Metro, New England and Western Divisions each received two at-large bids. It is perhaps the most difficult and challenging field in the history of the conference as three teams with 19 or more wins, did not qualify.

Rivier College (31-1), the #1 ranked team in the NECVA Top 10 poll for the last six weeks, is riding a remarkable 28-match winning streak and went a perfect 27-0 against NECVA schools this season. The 2006 NECVA champions, the Raiders have earned the #1 seed in the conference tournament for the first time in its history. Rivier, the GNAC Division champions, will make its ninth consecutive NECVA Tournament appearance since 2001. The Raiders will face #16 Hunter College, the runners up in the CUNYAC Division. The Hawks (23-15) will play in the tournament for the 12th consecutive year since 1998.

Nazareth College (25-4) is the #2 seed for the second time in its history. The Golden Flyers won the Western Division title and will make their fourth straight NECVA Tournament appearance. The 15th seed is Emmanuel College (18-12). The Saints were GNAC Division runners-up and make their third tournament appearance and first since 2007.

Ramapo College, which won the Metro Division title for the first time this decade, is the #3 seed overall and the Roadrunners (23-6), who will receive an automatic bid to the Molten Division III Final Four as the tournament host, make its 13th tournament appearance, tied with Stevens for the most all-time. Ramapo faces Elms College (18-12). The Blazers, the #14 seed, make their second tournament appearance in a row and in their history, and received an at-large bid.

Stevens Institute of Technology is the #4 seed and also make its 13th appearance overall and 12th in a row. The Ducks (21-6) claimed the second automatic bid in the Metro Division. The Ducks won the league title in 2003, 2005 and 2007, and hope that another odd-numbered year will keep that trend alive. The 13th seed is Eastern Mennonite University. The Royals (13-15) received an at-large bid and appear in the field for the eighth consecutive year and eighth time overall.

Endicott College made one of the biggest jumps in the seedings from 2008. The Gulls (20-11) won the New England Division after being seeded 12th last year. They are the #5 overall seed in 2009. Endicott makes its sixth NECVA Tournament appearance and third in a row and will take on the #12 seed, SUNY New Paltz. The Hawks (22-12) received an at-large bid to the tournament and will make their fifth appearance in the championship-and first since 2007.

Vassar College was the #1 seed and 2008 NECVA Tournament champions and the Brewers are the highest-seeded at-large recipient in the 2009 field. Vassar (17-7) will make its second straight tournament appearance since joining the NECVA. The Brewers first round opponent will be the tournament host Massachusetts Institute of Technology. MIT (25-11) took an at-large appearance to the 2009 field-its fifth consecutive NECVA Tournament appearance.

Newbury College (23-11) was the New England Division runners up and claimed the #7 seed in the field, a year after advancing to the conference finals as the sixth seed. The Nighthawks make their fourth appearance in the tournament and third in a row. The 10th seed is Philadelphia Biblical University. The Crimson Eagles (20-11), claimed an at-large bid and make their fourth tournament appearance and third straight.

The 8/9 matchup is compelling. Baruch College is the #8 seed. The Bearcats won the CUNYAC Division crown and have the most wins-and matches played-of any team in the tournament, with a 33-9 record. It is the sixth consecutive appearance in the tournament and eighth overall. The #9 seed is Medaille College. The Mavericks (15-14) likely would have been a lower-seeded at-large team until reeling off an incredible run at the Western Division tournament, placing second overall, to claim that division's second automatic bid. Medaille makes its ninth appearance in the tournament and sixth in a row.

The NECVA Championship will be decided on Sunday, April 5 at 1 p.m. A live video webcast of the final will be available on the conference website.

April 3-5, 2009; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Cambridge, Mass.
First Round (Friday, April 3)
MATCH #1: (1) Rivier College (31-1) vs. (16) Hunter College (23-15), 2 p.m. 
MATCH #2: (2) Nazareth College (25-4) vs. (15) Emmanuel College (18-12), 2 p.m.
MATCH #3: (3) Ramapo College (23-6) vs. (14) Elms College (18-12), 4 p.m.
MATCH #4: (4) Stevens Institute of Technology (21-6) vs. (13) Eastern Mennonite University (13-15), 4 p.m.
MATCH #5: (5) Endicott College (20-11) vs. (12) SUNY New Paltz (22-12), 6 p.m.
MATCH #6:  (6) Vassar College (17-7) vs. (11) Massachusetts Institute of Technology (25-11), 6 p.m.
MATCH #7:  (7) Newbury College (23-11) vs. (10) Philadelphia Biblical University (20-11), 8 p.m.
MATCH #8: (8) Baruch College (33-9) vs. (9) Medaille College (15-14), 8 p.m. 
Quarterfinals (Saturday, April 4)
MATCH #9: Winner of Match #1 vs. Winner of Match #8, 11 a.m.
MATCH #10: Winner of Match #2 vs. Winner of Match #7, 11 a.m.
MATCH #11: Winner of Match #3 vs. Winner of Match #6, 1 p.m.
MATCH #12: Winner of Match #4 vs. Winner of Match #5, 1 p.m. 
Semifinals (Saturday, April 4)
MATCH #13: Winner of Match #9 vs. Winner of Match #12, 4 p.m.
MATCH #14: Winner of Match #10 vs. Winner of Match #11, 4 p.m.
Finals (Sunday, April 5)
MATCH #15: Winner of Match #13 vs. Winner of Match #14, 1 p.m. (and live at http://www.necva.org/)

Article courtesy of NECVA sports information.

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