Maine Maritime claimed the 2016 North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Volleyball Championship, defeating Colby-Sawyer College on Saturday afternoon, 3-1 (25-18, 25-15, 17-25, 25-23), inside of Smith Gymnasium.
The Mariners clinched their first NAC Championship since 2010, the program's fifth overall, and earned an automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Volleyball Tournament.
The Mariners jumped out to a great start in the first set, led by seven kills from sophomore Tess Clark and six kills from senior captain Gillian O'Neal. The Mariners won set one by a score of 25-18 and took the second set by a score of 25-15, led by seven kills from O'Neal.
Colby-Sawyer battled back to claim the third set 25-17, led by five kills from Courtney Murray. The fourth set was a dramatic back-and-forth showdown, but with the set tied at 23-23, the Mariners tallied the next two points to claim the championship.
O'Neal earned Tournament MVP honors after recording her 17th double-double of the season of 21 kills and 14 digs. O'Neal also added two aces. Clark tallied her 10th double-double of the season with 23 digs and 14 kills en route to earning All-Tournament honors while also chipping in with five aces, two assists, and a block.
Sydney Adams recorded a match-high 39 assists, while also tallying 12 digs for her 11th double-double of the season, to earn All-Tournament honors and Maria Perez recorded 23 digs and six assists to be named to the All-Tournament squad.
Colby-Sawyer was led by All-Tournament selections Murray and Naarah Cox. Murray ended the afternoon with a team-best 12 kills, while also tallying two blocks and Cox put together a well-rounded performance with eight total blocks, four kills, and three digs.
Elyssa Clairmont and Olivia Goodrich led the Chargers (11-21) with 17 and 13 assists respectively, while Gabrielle Rodriguez led the team with 14 digs and both Ashley Kinley and Elyssa Clairmont added 11 digs.
The Mariners improve to 22-8 on the season, and will learn their opponent in the NCAA Tournament during the NCAA Volleyball Selection Show scheduled for Monday, November 7, at 12:30 pm.
Volleyball All-Tournament Team
Lyndon: Abbey Greene
Husson: Hanna Hembrow
Colby-Sawyer: Courtney Murray and Naarah Cox
Maine Maritime: Tess Clark, Sydney Adams, and Maria Perez
Tournament MVP: Gillian O'Neal, Maine Maritime
--Courtesy of Maine Maritime Sports Information
2016 NAC VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
All start times and dates are subject to change
Championship Match • Saturday, November 5
No. 1 Maine Maritime 3, No. 2 Colby-Sawyer 1 - Boxscore