Beavers to meet MMA in NAC Semifinals

Beavers to meet MMA in NAC Semifinals

FARMINGTON, Maine -- The third-seeded University of Maine at Farmington women's volleyball team is headed to Colby-Sawyer College to face No. 2 Maine Maritime Academy in North Atlantic Conference Semifinals tonight at 8 p.m.

The game will be available online via live stats.

The Beavers (14-9) have amassed the most wins by a UMF women's volleyball team since 2009 (17-0). UMF eliminated No. 6 Green Mountain College 3-0 in NAC First Round last Saturday, while Mariners (22-4) received a bye.

UMF has lost to Maine Maritime twice during the season. The Beavers fell to the Mariners 3-0 at the Colby Invitational on Sept. 9 and 3-1 in NAC play in Farmington on Oct. 8.

"Our biggest obstacle against MMA is that we are a bit intimidated by them because they are our conference champs for the last four years," said UMF head coach Kika Nigals. "Even though I think our skills are better than MMA, our other weakness is inexperience at this level. If we keep our unforced errors at a minimum, serve aggressively, win the point in the long rallies we should do very well."

Shannon Mitchell (Portsmouth, N.H.) and Marina Tello (San Antonio, Texas) received all-conference recognition this week. Mitchell, who leads the team in kills (213) and blocks (47), was honored on the All-NAC First Team for the third consecutive season, while Tello, who has a team-best 251 digs, was named to the All-NAC Second Team.

"I'm really excited," said Mitchell, who captains the team along with Amanda Mullane (Melrose, Mass.) and Whitney Walls (Bar Harbor, Maine). "We're going to try our hardest, try to do the best we can and hopefully get a win."

The Mariners are led by 2009 and 2010 NAC Player of the Year Chelsea Ward with 194 kills, 2010 NAC Rookie of the Year Melissa Lail with 176 kills and 2011 NAC Rookie of the Year Sydney Robertson with 165 kills.

The NAC's other semifinal features No. 4 Husson University (18-11). against top-ranked Colby-Sawyer (18-14) at 6 p.m. The Chargers were undefeated in NAC play at 7-0.

The semifinal winners will meet Saturday at noon at Colby-Sawyer for the NAC Championship.

 Shannon Mitchell  Marina Tello  Amanda Mullane  Whitney Walls  Jen Vadnais