For the sixth consecutive season, UMass Boston will serve as the Final Four hosts and top seed for the 2014 Little East Conference Volleyball Championship. The Beacons, who swept the league regular season schedule with a perfect 7-0 slate, enter the tournament with a 20-10 cumulative record and are also seeking their sixth consecutive Little East title.
The No. 2 seed was earned by Keene State, which posted a 6-1 record in conference play this season and a 20-15 mark overall. The Owls, along with UMass Boston, receive a quarterfinal bye to Thursday's semifinal matches.
Under co-head coaches Terry Condon and Mike Houlihan, UMass Boston met the preseason expectations as the unanimous top selection in August's Preseason Poll. UMass Boston is led by the dynamic sophomore duo of hitter Julia Murphy and defensive specialist Elizabeth Glavan, both of whom garnered Little East major awards last season as freshman. Both have followed on that success in 2014, as Murphy leads the league with a .298 hitting percentage and Glavan sits second with 5.54 digs per set this year.
Keene State enters the tournament as the second seed, and will seek the program's first league title since 2008. With head coach Bob Weiner at the helm, the Owls have made the title match the past two seasons, and hope to avenge their only conference loss this season at the hand of the Beacons. Last season's Co-Offensive Player of the Year, Angela Silveri, has performed solidly in her junior season as the outside hitter owns 337 kills for a 2.61 kills per set average. The Owls enter the tournament on a hot streak, winning their past six matches and allowing those opponents to take no more than one set.
The No. 3 seed was awarded to Eastern Connecticut, its highest tournament seeding since the 2008 season. In her first year leading the Warriors, interim head coach Megan Silver Droesch and her ECSU squad amassed a 15-16 overall record and 5-2 league slate. The Warriors will play host to No. 6 seed Plymouth State on Tuesday in a quarterfinal, with the winner advancing to face Keene State.
The second quarterfinal will feature the No. 4 seed Western Connecticut, one of the most statistically solid teams in the conference this season, hosting No. 5 seed Rhode Island College. The winner will travel to Boston to face the Beacons on Thursday.
The winner of the 2014 Little East Volleyball Championship will receive the conference's automatic bid to the 2014 NCAA Division III Volleyball Championship, which will begin on Nov. 14 and culminate Nov. 21-23 in Newport News, Va.
Little East Conference
2014 Volleyball Championship
Tuesday, November 4 – Quarterfinals
MATCH 1: No. 5 Rhode Island College at No. 4 Western Connecticut
MATCH 2: No. 6 Plymouth State at No. 3 Eastern Connecticut
Saturday, November 8 – Semifinals at UMass Boston
MATCH 3: Winner Game 1 vs. No. 1 UMass Boston
MATCH 4: Winner Game 2 vs. No. 2 Keene State
Sunday, November 9 – Championship at higher seed