Haverhill, MA (October 24, 2019) – The Northern Essex Community College women's volleyball team will open up defense of their NJCAA Region 21 volleyball championship as the number two seed in the four team tournament hosted on Sunday by Holyoke Community College.
The Knights will face off in the second semi-final contest of the afternoon against #3 seed Quinsigamond Community College at 1:00pm. The opening match will feature the #1 seed Massasoit Community College and #4 seed Holyoke at 11:00am. The championship match is slated to begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of the second semi-final match.
After playing one of the most difficult non-conference schedules the program has ever seen to begin the year they enter the tournament with an 8-14 overall record and 7-3 record in region 21 play, including a 6-2 record thus far in the month of October.
NECC will be led into the post-season by the duo of Sarah Shattuck (Andover) and Brooke Naatz (North Andover). Shattuck currently leads the region in kills and is second in digs, while Naatz currently ranks second in hitting percentage (.316).
Christine Ortega (Haverhill) and Zaida Pemental Gamboa (Rowley/Instituto Leonardo Bravo) have both provided consistency on the defensive end of the ball, while Nevaeh Pitcher (Haverhill/Whittier) has provided a steady spark off the bench to the defensive side of the net.
NECC and Quinsigamond split their regular season matches, with both team winning at home. The most recent match was in Haverhill on October 3rd where NECC picked up a 3-0 win. Shattuck led the attack with eight kills, nine service aces and seven digs. Naatz also had a match high 10 kills, while Gonzalez dished out 13 assists.
The winner of this weekend's regional tournament will host the NJCAA Northeast District Tournament on Sunday November 3rd with teams advancing to the 12 team national finals November 14-16 in Rochester, MN.
Northern Essex Community College competes as a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and sponsors 12 varsity intercollegiate sports including baseball, men's basketball, women's basketball, softball, women's volleyball, men's and women's cross country, men's soccer, Esports and men's and women's track and field. For more information on Northern Essex Community College Athletics please visit the official website of Northern Essex Athletics (www.neccknights.com).