Messiah v. Fontbonne
This match will be an exciting one to watch as we see a battle between two incredibly talented outside hitters: Potential POY Mason Nissley (Messiah) and Ryan Lively (Fontbonne), a smart, aggressive, well-rounded player. In the end, the advantage will lean towards Messiah due to the serving line. Fontbonne’s serve receive will not be able to hang. Despite the talent on Fontbonne’s side of the net, I don’t think they’re ready for (arguably) their toughest match of the year. The MAC has been tougher than the MCVL, which will result in Messiah being more prepared for this match. Messiah in 4.
Vassar v. Hiram
Congratulations on making it to the dance, but your season comes to an end at this point. Shoutout to Montero and Supan on a great season. Unfortunately for you, I see this match as the equivalent to the 1v16 March Madness matchup (and you are not UMBC). Sorry not sorry. Vassar in 3.
Wentworth v. NJCU
Wentworth is coming into this tournament with some thinking they don’t belong. I think this match Wentworth will demonstrate their worthiness to the NCAA and spectators. They come out hot from the gate and wipe NJCU. Shoutout to NJCU taking the Skyline over St. Joes Long Island, but you’re done here. Wentworth in 3.
Benedictine v. Endicott
Benedictine has some good talent, but they’re coming off of a really rough loss to Dominican in the NACC finals. To be honest, BenU has not yet proven their worth to me. In addition, they’re not peaking at the right time. Endicott has proven that they can ball with top teams in the country as they battled with Springfield early on in the season. Lipton and Felicetti want another shot at a ring (sorry about 2019), and I think they come into this tournament hungry. Endicott in 5.
Messiah v. Carthage
This is my big upset prediction of this tournament. By the time this match comes, Carthage will not have played in 12 days. Messiah would be coming hot off of a win against Fontbonne. I suspect that right out of the gate, Messiah takes advantage of Carthage from the service line. Messiah initiates the first blow which causes the undefeated Carthage team to play timid (aka playing “not to lose” rather than playing to win). Carthage will feed Slivinski but Messiah knows it’s coming and they mitigate his efficiency. Insert Stephen A. Smith meme *”WHAT CAN GO WRONG, WILL GO WRONG”*… Carthage doesn’t make it past the quarters. Messiah in 5.
Vassar v. Dominican
In my opinion, the team that wins this match will be crowned national champion. Dominican is playing their best ball of the season, and Vassar is the sole team to come out of the powerhouse UVC. I’ve said since the beginning, the trophy will go to the team that peaks at the right time. I see Vassar and Dominican as those teams. This will be an incredibly fun match to watch. Vassar will come out on top in the end led by Andrew Kim. Brewers in 5.
SVU v. Wentworth
SVU surprised me in the CVC finals against Juniata. I was questioning the strength of their schedule which made me think Juniata was going to take that match. They proved me wrong. Stapley stepped up big in the CVC finals and he will step up again. This time Recabarren hits at a more efficient %. Wentworth’s 2 match Cinderella story comes to an end and finishes the season with 1 good win. SVU punches the ticket to the final 4. SVU in 5.
Lancaster Bible v. Endicott
Similar to my Messiah/Carthage prediction, I expect the fresher/hotter team to win this one. It’s simply been too long since Lancaster Bible has played volleyball. Gulls in 4.
Messiah v. Vassar
Messiah has stunned the world at this point, but they do not match up well with Vassar. They will not be able to handle Andrew Kim’s serve (don’t worry, not many can). Nissley still hits .300+ but unfortunately doesn’t get enough support from his team to take down Vassar. They steal a set, but Vassar’s serve and pass game puts them on top. Vassar in 4.
SVU v. Endicott
Endicott’s run comes to an end. Felicetti will struggle in this match and Recabarren steps up. SVU in 4.
Vassar v. SVU
UVC Champions Vassar, backed by Andrew Kim, Gavin Van Beveren, Colin Jones and Adam Gulick bring them to their first ever national championship. In my eyes, Vassar is the most talented team in this tournament, and they prove it. Vassar in 4.