DIII No. 5 Nazareth to Face No. 6 Stevens for 2009 NECVA Championship


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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - After a dramatic day of quarterfinal and semifinal action, which included perhaps one of the biggest post-season upsets in Division III men's volleyball history, the 2009 and 15th annual North East Collegiate Volleyball Association championship tournament finals are set. On April 5 at 1 p.m. No. 2 seeded and No. 5 nationally ranked Nazareth College (28-4) will seek its first-ever NECVA Championship when it meets fourth-seeded and nationally No. 6 ranked Stevens Institute of Technology (24-6) for the title.  The Ducks won the league title in 2003, 2005 and 2007, and hope that another odd-numbered year will keep that trend alive.

Fans can watch the live video broadcast of the championship match from MIT's Rockwell Gymnasium. NECVA Conference and NJCU Sports Information Director Ira Thor will call the action alongside NECVA Executive Director Gerald Matacotta. The link to the video feed is .

The quarterfinals opened with what may be remembered as one of the most significant post-season upsets in men's volleyball history. Top-seeded and nationally No. 3 ranked Rivier College entered with just one loss on the year and a 30-match winning streak. Eighth-seeded Baruch College was not even ranked in the NECVA Top 10 Poll. Nevertheless, the Bearcats, who had not won an NECVA Tournament match since 1998 prior to a first round victory on Friday night, turned around just 12 hours after the opening round and stunned the Raiders, 3-2 (30-28, 18-30, 30-27, 25-30, 18-16). Rivier fell to 33-2 with the loss.

Stevens defeated No. 5 seeded Endicott College (22-12), 3-1 (28-30, 30-26, 30-21, 30-24), to set up one semifinal.

The other half of the bracket saw a pair of quarterfinal sweeps as Nazareth blanked NECVA Western Division rival and No. 10 seeded Philadelphia Biblical University (21-13), 30-24, 30-22, 32-30. Defending champion and No. 6 seeded Vassar College eliminated No. 3 Ramapo College (24-7), in another sweep (32-30, 30-23, 30-24). Ramapo's season will continue in two weeks as the host for the Division III Molten Invitational Tournament on April 17-18.

In the semifinals, Stevens finally ended the magical ride of Baruch (35-10), winning 3-1 (30-22, 30-15, 26-30, 30-24). Meanwhile, the Golden Flyers won their 14th consecutive match as Nazareth ousted the defending champion Brewers in four sets, 3-1 (31-29, 25-30, 30-23, 30-25).

Article courtesy of NEVCA media relations.

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