Le Moyne Volleyball Wins First Regular Season Conference Title in Program History
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With a 3-1 win over Saint Anselm in their regular season finale, Le Moyne volleyball captured their first ever regular season conference title. It was their seventh straight victory. Their 12-2 record in Northeast-10 Conference play is the best since their arrival in the conference 21 years ago. Their 22-5 overall record on the year is tied for the second-most wins in program history and the most since 1996.
The Saturday matchup in Manchester, N.H. turned out to be the deciding factor in who would call themselves regular season conference champions. Whoever claimed the victory would hold the trophy. With the loss, the Hawks finished in fourth place in the NE-10 regular season standings, but would’ve finished at the top with a win. If they would have won, they would have tied with Le Moyne for the best record in the conference at 11-3. American International and New Haven also ended their regular seasons with 11-3 records. This means that four teams would have been tied for first place if the outcome of the game was the opposite. In order to defeat Saint Anselm, the ‘Phins had to overcome a 1-0 deficit in the match. The Hawks took the first set, 25-23. They responded by winning the second set in dominant fashion, by a score of 25-10. The third and fourth games were both won by Le Moyne with a score of 25-16.
In the 3-1 win by the Dolphins, four players registered at least 11 kills. Sophomore middle blocker Anna Hafoka led the team with 12 kills. Her fellow classman, right side Jessica Miller, recorded 11 kills. Senior outside hitters Andrea Buchanan and Natalie Casson also had 11 kills each. Casson also added eight digs in the contest. In this match, Miller recorded her 300th kill on the year. She joined Casson to become the fifth ever pair of teammates to have 300 kills in the same season. Junior setter Kendall Corcoran had 44 assists in the game, which makes her season total 1132, which is fourth-most ever for a Dolphin in one season. Sophomore libero Mikayla Poor led the defense efforts for Le Moyne, recording 17 digs.
With the clinching of the regular season NE-10 title, the Dolphins claimed the top seed in the 2016 NE-10 Volleyball Championship. This past weekend, the rankings for the tournament were announced. The Dolphins will take on the lowest seed in the tournament, Pace University, in the quarterfinals on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at Le Moyne. If they win, they will take on the winner of Adelphi vs. Saint Anselm in the semifinals at home again. Last year, the Dolphins reached the semifinals after winning their quarterfinal match over Saint Rose for only the fourth time in the program’s twenty years. They will try and do this for the second straight year on Tuesday against Pace, and then take it a step further to the conference championship after that.
(Note: this story was written before Tuesday’s game)