The Northeast Conference announced the Fall Team Sportsmanship Awards for each of the league's seven fall sports on Wednesday with Central Connecticut earning the honor for women's volleyball. The Blue Devils were honored with the award for the first time since 2018-19.
Instituted by league Presidents in 2008, the awards are designed to acknowledge the team in each conference sport that, in the opinion of its peers, most closely demonstrates good sportsmanship based on the NEC Principles of Sportsmanship and Standards of Conduct. Voting is conducted at the conclusion of each season by each team and head coach, who rank teams within the conference based on a set of criteria. Since the NEC Team Sportsmanship program was instituted in 2008-09, Saint Francis U has won a conference-best 41 awards, followed by Sacred Heart (32), Wagner (30), CCSU (27) and Bryant (25) to round out the top-five.
"Good sportsmanship is one of the core values that guides the NEC's commitment to providing a positive student-athlete and fan experience," said Noreen Morris, NEC Commissioner. "I applaud the institutions who have been recognized by their peers as demonstrating the highest level of respect for the game, their opponents, the officials and their fans."
The volleyball team had freshman Nyjha Marcelin earn All-NEC Second Team honors and place fifth in the league standings. The team was honored with the AVCA Team Academic Award for the 15th consecutive season in 2020-21, which is the sixth-longest active streak in Division I.