MARCY, N.Y. - The Gallaudet University women's volleyball reign in the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) continued here Sunday as the second-seed Bison rallied to defeat top-seed SUNY Polytechnic Institute, 3-1, to win a seventh straight conference championship.
For the second year in a row, the Bison dropped the first set 17-25 to the host Wildcats before reeling off three straight set wins 25-22, 26-24, 25-22 to earn the conference crown.
Gallaudet (21-15) advances to a seventh consecutive NCAA Division III women's volleyball championship. The Bison will find out where and who they will play on Monday when the tournament field is officially announced.
Junior outside hitter Darriyan Thomas (Vallejo, Calif.) was named the Tournament MVP for her performance during the three-day tournament. Thomas, the 2016 NEAC Player of the Year, finished the championship match with 21 kills, nine digs and one service ace. This was her second straight 21-kill match in the NEAC tournament.
Junior setter Jasmine Jeter (Noblesville, Ind.) recorded 46 of 50 assists for the Bison as she added eight digs, two block assists, two kills and one service ace.
Freshmen Adele Daniels (Frederick, Md.) and libero Farrah Harmount (Union City, Calif.) were instrumental in their debuts in a conference title match. Daniels, the 2016 NEAC Rookie of the Year, tallied 16 kills, seven digs, two block assists, one assist and one ace. Harmount posted a match-high 19 digs, two assists and two service aces.
Three different Wildcats (21-12) recorded 11 or more kills in the match. Emma Larson led SUNY Poly with 12 kills, 11 digs, three block assists, two service aces and one assist.
GU avenge its 3-1 setback to SUNY Poly (Sept. 17) during the regular season in Cobleskill, N.Y. It was only one of two conference losses suffered by the Bison this season.
- Freshman Maria Elena Rendon (Espanola, N.M.) had seven digs, three kills, one block solo, one block assist and one ace
- Freshman middle hitter Camryn Skari (Federal Way, Wash.) was a force upfront with one block solo and three block assist while adding six kills, one dig, one assist, one ace
- Sophomore Shua Clay (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) added six kills and two block assists
- GU had seven service aces in the win
- Gallaudet is now 7-0 all-time in NEAC championship matches since it joined the conference in 2010
- The Bison are 16-0 all-time in NEAC tournament matches
- GU has won the NEAC championship four times on the road and second straight year at SUNY Poly
- This was the fifth time Gallaudet has faced SUNY Poly in the NEAC tournament and the third time in the title match (2013, '15, '16)
"We couldn't be more proud of our team today as they kept battling throughout the match. They were patient with the game plan and didn't lose their composure. Once they overcame the first set loss, they were able to persevere and delivered a very consistent game en route to victory." - Lynn Ray Boren, Gallaudet women's volleyball head coach
The Bison receive the NEAC's automatic bid into the NCAA tournament where they will make the program's 12th appearance. Gallaudet will wait and see where they go when the official field is announced on Monday.