NEW LONDON, Conn.--(11/12/11)--Tournament Most Outstanding Player Karen Matic had a career-high 17 kills to go with 12 digs and a team-high 25 assists leading top-seeded Coast Guard to the ECAC Division III New England Championship with a 3-1 win over second-seeded Plymouth State.
Coast Guard, which completed the season with a perfect 13-0 record at home, won its fourth ECAC Championship and second in three years. The Bears also won the ECAC Championship in 2002, 2005 and 2009. The Bears beat Plymouth State 3-1 in the 2009 ECAC Championship game in Plymouth, New Hampshire.
The Bears, who finish the season 26-6, won by game scores of 23-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-18. Plymouth State, playing in its third ECAC Championship game in the last four seasons, finished 25-11. The Panthers won the 2008 ECAC Championship.
The Panthers led the opening game 13-7 before the Bears closed the gap to 16-15 with an 8-3 run. Coast Guard took its first lead at 20-19 before the Panthers ran off four straight for a 23-20 lead. The Bears scored three straight to tie the score 23-23 before Plymouth scored the next two for the 25-23 win.
Coast Guard evened things in the second game as the Bears scored five straight to open up a 17-11 lead and won 25-17.
The Bears appeared to be cruising to a 2-1 lead up 19-11 in the third set before the Panthers behind the serving of sophomore Kaitlyn Tedeschi scored ten straight for a 21-19 lead. Coast Guard battled back to tie it at 22-22 and with the score tied 23-23 a service error followed by an ace by freshman Kelsey Hickle gave the Bears the 25-23 win.
Plymouth scored five straight to take a 9-4 lead in the fourth set before Coast Guard quickly responded with five straight of their own to tie it at 9-9.
The Bears later scored four straight to take an 18-14 lead enroute to the 25-18 win.
Matic had ten kills and a team-high 14 assists in the 3-0 semifinal win over fourth-seeded Keene State earlier in the day for Coast Guard.
Sophomore Kelsey DePorto had 14 kills, seven digs and a team-high six blocks, junior Keriann Mason added ten kills and 15 digs while Catherine Walker finished with eight kills and 11 digs.
Sophomore Sam Marmolejo had a match-high 28 digs for the Bears while freshman Elise Sako added 15 assists and nine digs in the win.
Sophomore Allie Jones led the Panthers with 17 kills and four aces while junior Casey Stoodley added ten kills and 17 digs. Senior Danielle Stoodley led the way with 21 digs while classmate Sarah Cady closed out her career with a match-high 37 assists.
The Panthers advanced to the championship match with a come-from-behind 3-2 win over third-seeded Endicott in the semifinals earlier in the day.
Coast Guard, the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) regular season co-champions, were making their 10th postseason appearance in the last 11 years, eight of those in the ECAC tournament.
November 12, 2011 Bears Win ECAC Championship
November 12, 2011 Bears Roar into ECAC Championship Game
November 9, 2011 Top-Seeded Bears Advance to ECAC Semifinals
November 7, 2011 Bears Place Trio on All-Conference team
November 7, 2011 Bears Named Top-Seed in ECAC Tournament
November 5, 2011 Wellesley Eliminates Bears
October 31, 2011 DePorto Named NEWMAC Player of the Week
October 29, 2011 Bears Win Share of Regular Season Championship
October 25, 2011 Bears Sweep Wellesley in NEWMAC Showdown
October 24, 2011 Matic Named NEWMAC Player of the Week
October 21, 2011 Bears Win Twice; Run Win Streak to Seven
October 19, 2011 Bears Run Win Streak to Five
October 18, 2011 Bears Win Fourth Straight on Little Bear Night
October 17, 2011 Bears to Host Big Brothers/Big Sisters on Tuesday Night
October 15, 2011 Bears Beat Eastern Conn. 3-1
October 11, 2011 Bears Beat Babson, Move Into First Place Tie
October 8, 2011 Bears Win Two of Three
October 5, 2011 Bears Win 3-0 On Dig Pink Night
October 4, 2011 Bears Beat WPI 3-0
October 1, 2011 Bears Split at Roger Williams
September 27, 2011 DePorto Leads Bears to 3-0 Win Over Smith
September 24, 2011 Bears Split at Amherst Classic
September 23, 2011 Bears Beat Middlebury in Five
September 20, 2011 Hickle Leads Bears Past Mount Holyoke
September 17, 2011 #25 Bears Lose at Springfield
September 13, 2011 #25 Bears Win NEWMAC Opener
September 10, 2011 Bears Roll Past Merchant Marine
September 5, 2011 Mason Named NEWMAC Player of the Week
September 4, 2011 Bears Knock Off #4 Christopher Newport
September 3, 2011 Bears Split at Haverford Tournament
September 1, 2011 Bears Win Season Opener