NCAA Tournament Preview: #3 Stonehill And #6 LIU Post Set To Meet In First Round

NE-10 Player of the Year Emily Iverson and the third-seeded Skyhawks will make their second NCAA Tournament appearance in program history on Thursday against sixth-seeded LIU Post.

Skyhawks seeking first NCAA Tournament victory in program history

NCAA DII Tournament Bracket
NCAA East Region Tournament Central
Match Notes

EASTON, Mass. (November 18, 2014) – The third-seeded Stonehill College volleyball team will make its second appearance in the NCAA Division II Tournament in program history on Thursday, as the Skyhawks are set to take on defending East Region champion and No. 6 seed LIU Post in first round action at the University of Bridgeport's Hubbell Gymnasium at noon.

Admission for Thursday's session (four matches) will be $5 for adults, $3 for senior citizens and students with a valid ID from a participating school, and $2 for children ages 2-12. For those that are unable to make it to Hubbell Gymnasium, a live stream and live stats will be available for every match at

In the other first round matchups, host and top seed Bridgeport will take on eighth-seed Post University at 5 p.m. No. 2 seed the University of New Haven and seventh-seeded the College of Saint Rose will follow Stonehill/LIU Post in the 2:30 p.m. slot, and No. 5 seed Adelphi University will look for its second straight win over No. 4 seed Bentley University at 7:30 p.m. in a rematch of Saturday night's Northeast-10 Conference Championship final. The winners will advance to Friday's East Region semifinal round (matches at 5 p.m./7:30 p.m.), with the East Region champion being crowned Saturday night at 7 p.m.

Stonehill (21-7, 11-3 NE-10) earned a share of its first regular season NE-10 Championship in program history after finishing in a three-way tie with New Haven and Bentley. The Skyhawks, who ended up as the second seed in the NE-10, defeated seventh-seeded Southern New Hampshire in the quarterfinal round last Tuesday night before falling to third-seeded Bentley in the semifinals on Friday night.

LIU Post (19-13, 11-5 East Coast Conference) advanced to the championship match of the ECC Tournament, where the Pioneers were swept by Bridgeport. LIU Post, which is making its third straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament, captured the East Region title last season after posting 3-0 sweeps in all three of its regional matches.

The Skyhawks and Pioneers met on September 20th of this season, with LIU Post recording a 3-0 victory in Brookville, New York. Senior setter and NE-10 Player of the Year Emily Iverson (Elmhurst, Illinois/York) led Stonehill with 28 assists and 11 digs, while junior middle hitter Melissa Hansen (Colorado Springs, Colorado/Mesa Ridge) hit .467 with eight kills and six block assists for the Pioneers.

The two programs have played at least once every season dating back to 2010, and LIU Post holds a 5-2 edge in seven matches over the five-year period. Stonehill went 2-0 against the Pioneers during the 2011 campaign, with 3-0 and 3-1 victories at the Kutztown University Classic and West Chester University RAM Fest, respectively.

Junior outside hitter Delia Phillips averages 3.38 kills and 2.65 digs per set and has recorded 13 double-doubles this season.

Four Skyhawks earned All-Conference recognition from the NE-10 at the conclusion of the regular season, highlighted by Iverson, who was named to the first team in addition to her selection as Player and Setter of the Year. Junior outside hitter Delia Phillips (St. James, New York/Smithtown East) earned first team honors for the second straight season, while senior middle blocker Meaghan Lee (Hanover, Massachusetts/Notre Dame Academy) landed on the second team and freshman libero Claire Manuszak (Indianapolis, Indiana/Bishop Chatard) was voted to the All-Rookie team.

Iverson ended the regular season ranked second in the conference in both total assists (1011) and assists per set (10.21) while running an offense that posted a .184 attack percentage, good for fifth in the NE-10. The Elmhurst, Illinois native also averages 2.00 digs and 0.70 kills per frame to go with 37 service aces (T-7th in NE-10) and 26 total blocks (two solo).

Phillips, who finished the regular season with the fourth highest kill total (320) and kills per set average (3.30) in the conference, led Stonehill past Southern New Hampshire in the NE-10 quarterfinals with her 13th double-double of 2014 (22 kills, 17 digs).

Lee's total of 78 blocks is good for sixth in the NE-10, while Manuszak leads Stonehill with 3.31 digs per set. Junior outside hitter Kelsey Weymouth (North Attleboro, Massachusetts/North Attleboro) and senior middle blocker Mary-Kate Catton (San Diego, California/Academy of Our Lady of Peace) have also been consistent contributors for the Skyhawks. Weymouth averages 2.40 kills and 2.13 digs per set, while Catton, the program's all-time leader in block assists with 282, chips in with 2.20 kills and 0.73 blocks per frame.

Hansen earned All-East Coast Conference second team honors after starting all 32 matches for the Pioneers and averaging 1.83 kills and 0.98 blocks per set. The junior was a key member of LIU Post's defensive unit up front, as her team-leading 100 blocks were good for second in the ECC.

Freshman outside hitter Danielle Valenza (Hauppauge, New York/Hauppauge) was selected as the ECC's Rookie of the Year after an impressive campaign in which she led the Pioneers with 3.00 kills per frame in addition to 1.72 digs.

Senior Lulu Centro (Rome, Italy/Liceo Linguistico Lucrezio Caro) and junior Monica Amador (Cedar Park, Texas/Cedar Park) split the setting duties with 5.86 and 3.92 assists per frame, respectively, while junior Rachel Ringor (Honolulu, Hawaii/Roosevelt) leads the Pioneers with 3.76 digs per set.  

2014 NCAA Division II Volleyball Championship Schedule - East Regional

Thursday, November 20

Match No. 1    No. 3 seed (Stonehill) vs. No. 6 seed (LIU Post)-12:00 p.m.
Match No. 2    No. 7 seed (St. Rose) vs. No. 2 seed (New Haven)-2:30 p.m.
Match No. 3    No. 1 seed (Bridgeport) vs. No. 8 seed (Post University)-5:00 p.m.
Match No. 4    No. 5 seed (Adelphi) vs. No. 4 seed (Bentley)-7:30 p.m.

Friday, November 21

Match No. 1    Winner of match No. 1 vs. Winner of match No. 2-5:00 p.m.
Match No. 2    Winner of match No. 3 vs. Winner of match No. 4-7:30 p.m.

Saturday, November 22

Regional Championship Match-7:00 p.m.

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VolleyBlog: Week 13
November 13, 2014 VolleyBlog: Week 13