WALTHAM, Mass. – After capturing the regular season title, the Bentley University women's volleyball team will open its second season Tuesday night when it hosts Southern Connecticut State in the quarterfinals of the Northeast-10 Conference Championships. Game time at the Dana Center is set for 7 pm with a webcast available on the NE10 NOW digital network.
Bentley, which will host the final two rounds if it advances past the quarters, enters the conference tourney at 23-5 overall, the Falcons' most wins in a dozen years, and with 18 wins in its last 19 contests. Coach Joey Pacis club, 11-1 in NE10 action, finished two games in front of second-place American International.
The Falcons' quarterfinal opponent, eighth-seeded Southern Connecticut, comes in at 14-15 overall and 7-6 NE10. The Owls are the defending NE10 champions after sweeping AIC in three in last year's final.
Bentley, which will be seeking its 10th championship all-time and first since 2006, has a senior-laden team with five members of the Class of 2020. That group includes middle Rachel Bruno (San Diego, Calif./Francis Parker School), outside hitter Dani Milner (Plano, Texas/The Greenhill School) and setter Xio Lopp (Kalispell, Mont./Flathead HS).
Bruno, with a .306 hitting percentage, is topping the conference in that category for the third straight year. Milner leads Bentley in kills (2.77) and points (3.12) and Lopp is averaging 9.74 assists, 2.85 digs and 0.57 blocks.
When the Falcons and Owls met on Oct. 18 down in New Haven, Bentley returned with a four-set victory (23-25, 25-18, 25-15, 28-26).
Milner and two-time NE10 Rookie of the Week Ingrid Murphy (Cotuit/Barnstable HS) each had 12 kills and Lopp recorded 36 assists and 20 digs.
Southern, winners of five of its last seven, ranks second in the conference in both aces and digs. Senior Jennifer Dawson has 39 aces and 326 digs, and Abigail Epstein follows with 32 aces. Senior setter Tea Carter is second in the conference in assists and freshman Ella White is the leader in kills (2.8).
In the other quarterfinals, AIC is hosting number seven Franklin Pierce, number six Le Moyne will make the trip east to face third-seeded Stonehill and the four-five match pits New Haven at Saint Anselm.
The semifinals will be Friday evening and the championship is Saturday.
2019 NORTHEAST-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS
Tuesday, November 19 -- Quarterfinals at Higher Seeds
Match 1: #8 Southern Connecticut at #1 Bentley (7:00 pm)
Match 2: #7 Franklin Pierce at #2 American International (7:00 pm)
Match 3: #6 Le Moyne at #3 Stonehill (7:00 pm)
Match 4: #5 New Haven at #4 Saint Anselm (7:00 PM)
Friday, November 22 -- Semifinals - at highest remaining seed following the quarterfinals.
Match 5: Match 1 winner vs. Match 4 winner
Match 6: Match 2 winner vs. Match 3 winner
Saturday, November 23r -- Championship