Framingham State Wins Conference Championship; Advances to NCAA Tourney

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By Framingham State athletics

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WORCESTER – Led by Tournament MVP Morgan Failla, the third seed Framingham State University volleyball team captured the MASCAC Tournament Title after upsetting top seed Worcester State 3-2 in finals of the 2021 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) 2021 Volleyball Championship tonight at John P. Brissette Court in Worcester.

#1 Seed Worcester State ends it season at 11-16 overall.

#3 seed Framingham State is now 17-15.

With the victory, the Rams receive the MASCAC’s automatic bid to the 2021 NCAA Division III Volleyball Championship.  Brackets and pairings for the Tournament will be announced on Monday at 12:30 p.m. on ncaa.com.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

  • The Rams earned the victory by scores of 25-16, 21-25, 22-25, 25-21 and 15-7.
  • Failla was named Tournament MVP after putting up 53 assists in the championship win. Failla had five assists and two kills in the decisive fifth set, in which the Rams scored five straight points to take an 8-4 lead and never looked back.
  • Brandee Thomas piled up a game-high 22 kills for the Rams and earned a double-double with 16 digs as well.
  • Hailey Sanders finished the match with 16 kills and four digs for the Rams, while Valerie Sullivan chipped in with 10 kills and two blocks.
  • Anna Szymanski just missed a double double with nine kills and 14 digs, while Isabel Henwood led the back row with 23 digs.

  • Natalie Gillis had 14 kills and 18 digs and Leelle Tyler added 11 kills in their final games as a Lancer. 
  • Denise Hoxha, Sarah Ward and Brooke Lamothe also finished their Worcester State careers. Ward had 26 assists to lead the team, Hoxha had eight digs, three assists and a service ace, and Lamothe had four assists and 15 digs.
  • Framingham didn’t make an attacking error in the first half of the opening set and raced out to a 7-1 and then a 15-6 lead. Worcester cut the deficit to three at 17-14, but the Rams used three kills by Szymanski and a service ace from Emily Flaherty to jump-start an 8-2 run to finish off the first set.

  • With the second set tied at 8, Worcester State ran off ten of the next 13 points to take an 18-11 lead. Erin Gaffney was in on blocks on back to back points and also had a kill during that run. Framingham had a 6-0 run of their own to get back in the set, but two more kills from Gaffney and one from Gillis closed out the 25-21 win.
  • The third set was tight until very late. Worcester led 22-19, but a kill by Sanders helped Framingham pull back to 22-21 before the Lancers put the set away to bring themselves one set from a conference crown.
  • It was not to be, however, as a kill by Thomas closed out a 25-21 win for the Rams to force the deciding set. Framingham took a 23-18 lead with a 5-0 run late to stave off elimination in the fourth.
  • Tied at 3-3 in the final set, the Rams rattled off a 5-1 run capped by a Szymanski kill to take the lead for good and secure the title.

editor

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