LEICESTER, Mass. --- The Becker College women's volleyball team is headed for the New England Collegiate Conference semifinals for the first time since 2008 after a three-set victory over visiting Mitchell College, 26-24, 25-20, 25-20, on Tuesday evening at the Leicester Gymnasium.
The Hawks of Becker (13-15), the NECC Tournament's three seed, will advance to play at Lesley University on Friday night at 8:00 p.m. The Mariners of Mitchell (2-18), the sixth and final seed, see their season come to an end.
Becker junior middle blocker Kayla Dupree (North Bergen, N.J. / Bronx) led the Hawks with 12 kills, three service aces and two solo blocks. Senior setter Charlene Landry (Gorham, Maine / Gorham), playing in the final home match of her record-breaking career, had match highs of 25 set assists and 17 digs to go along with four service aces. Sophomore outside hitter Micaela Rice (Charlton, Mass. / Shepherd Hill Regional) contributed nine kills with 11 digs while sophomore setter Olivia McGuinness (Colchester, Conn. / Bacon Academy) tallied five service aces and 14 digs. Sophomore libero Sofia Cullina (Deep River, Conn. / Valley Regional) added 13 digs.
Mitchell was led by freshman middle blocker Marissa Sweeney (Hudson, N.H./Alvirne) with five kills, four aces and 13 digs. Senior middle blocker Megan Elphick (Waterford, Conn./Waterford) recorded eight kills with seven digs while senior setter Lauren Tompkins (Prospect, Conn./Woodland) had 20 set assists and nine digs.
The first set was a nail-biter. The Mariners took a 24-23 lead off Sweeney's serve, and appeared headed for an upset. But the Hawks rallied with three straight points to close out the set, the latter two points coming off Rice's serve.
In the third set, Becker spotted the visitors a 7-1 lead before a timely timeout righted the ship. The Hawks finally tied it at 10-10 before taking the lead for good.
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