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SMSA spikers look to add tournament title to first NCCC pennant

HARTFORD, October 29 — After becoming the first girls team in school history to bring home a North Central Connecticut Conference championship, the Sport Medicine Science Academy (SMSA) girls volleyball team will look to win their first NCCC volleyball tournament title this week.

The Tigers ran the table in the NCCC with a perfect 14-0 record with Coventry, who had won 10 of the last 11 NCCC championships, finishing second with a 13-1 record.

SMSA beat Coventry, 3-1 (25-22, 24-26, 25-22, 25-23) on October 3 behind 12 kills and five blocks from Datari Mathis and 25 assists and 24 digs from setter Becca Mayer.

The NCCC Tournament begins on Tuesday with the Tigers hosting No. 8 seed Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy. Semifinals will be on Thursday with the title game on Friday at the site of the highest remaining seed.

Mathias led the Tigers with 158 kills and 34 blocks this season with Noelia Santana (87 kills) and Kalissa Jameson (85 kills) hitting well. As setter, Mayer has a team-leading 369 assists and leads the team in service aces (62) and digs (178).

The girls volleyball isn’t the first SMSA team to win a NCCC title. The boys basketball team has won a share of three league titles in 2015, 2016 and 2018. SMSA won the 2015 title outright and shared the 2016 title (with Classical) and the 2018 title (with Canton).

SMSA joined the NCCC in September 2011.

2018 NCCC volleyball tournament
Tuesday, October 30
Quarterfinals
SMSA 3, HMTCA 0 (25-10, 25-5, 25-9)
Rockville 3, Bolton 1 (17-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-17)
Granby 3, Ellington 0 (25-16, 25-6, 25-10)
Coventry 3, East Windsor 1 (25-11, 25-11, 20-25, 25-14)

Thursday, November 1
Semifinals
SMSA 3, Rockville 0 (25-15, 25-17, 25-18)
Coventry 3, Granby 0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-10)

Friday, November 2
Championship
SMSA 3, Coventry 1 (25-20, 25-16, 28-30, 25-17)

 

2018 NCCC girls volleyball standings

Team NCCC Overall
x-SMSA 14-0 19-1
Coventry 13-1 16-4
Granby 11-3 16-4
Bolton 9-5 14-6
Rockville 8-6 11-7
East Windsor 8-6 11-8
Ellington 6-8 7-13
HMTCA 4-10 8-12
Canton 2-12 5-15
Suffield 2-12 3-17
Hartford Classical 0-14 2-18
x-won league championship

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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