Volleyball drops five-set heartbreaker in ECC title match; Bears await NCAA tourney seeding

Tiffany Verni aims for a kill during Saturday's championship match.
Tiffany Verni aims for a kill during Saturday's championship match.

ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. — The NYIT volleyball team now awaits its NCAA Tournament seeding.

The Bears lost a heartbreaker to host and top-seeded Molloy, 25-23, 24-26, 25-22, 18-25, 15-11, in Saturday's East Coast Conference championship match before a standing-room-only crowd at Quealy Gymnasium.

NYIT, which a year ago earned its first league title in 26 years, entered the week in the No. 4 slot in the East Region rankings and appears on solid footing to earn an NCAA Tournament berth.

Eight teams from the region will be selected when the bracket is revealed during a live-streamed show at 7:30 p.m. Monday at NCAA.com.

NYIT owns a 25-8 record. Six of those losses have come to the three teams ahead of the Bears in the regional rankings — LIU Post (1-2), New Haven (1-1) and Molloy (0-3).

The Bears' win against LIU Post came in a five-set thriller in the ECC semifinals on Friday night.

In Saturday's title match, Karolina Moderova had 19 kills and 26 digs, followed by Tiffany Verni with 17 kills. Allison Fowler had 49 assists. Chessie Santeramo had 30 digs.

Coach Gail Wasmus pointed to the team's service errors.

"I was proud of the effort, but you can't beat anybody with 22 service errors," Wasmus said. "I had one player with eight. We need to have a chance to win. And we still took them to five."

As for the NCAA tourney seeding, Wasmus added: "I think we'll probably hold onto the four spot. I'm OK with that. We're going to be competitive. Two years ago we lost in the conference finals and came back and we won the region. Anything's possible."