BENNINGTON, Vt. — Southern Vermont College put away Newbury College in straight sets Wednesday night, defeating the Nighthawks 3-0 in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) men's volleyball action at the Mountaineer Athletic Center.
SVC won the match with set scores of 25-18, 25-21, and 25-18.
With the win, the Mountaineers stay undefeated in Conference play (3-0) while improving to 9-4 overall on the year. Newbury drops to 6-7 with the loss, 4-2 against the NECC.
Southern Vermont racked up 49 kills to the Nighthawks' 23, registering a .311 team hitting percentage on the night. The Mountaineer defense had a 41-33 edge in digs while NC recorded five team blocks to SVC's one.
Freshman Stewart Ramirez (Los Angeles, California) tallied a match-best 14 kills for the Mountaineers, recording just two attack errors on 25 swings for a .480 hitting percentage that went along with eight digs. Senior Joey Dighton (Riverside, California) followed with 11 kills and four errors on 17 attack attempts for a .412 hitting percentage while classmate and SVC libero Tino Escovedo (Fresno, California) notched a match-high 16 digs. Fellow senior Herson Canta (Lagunitas, California) assisted on 43 of the 49 Southern Vermont kills, and senior Keven Walley (Pico Rivera, California) registered nine kills, four digs and a pair of service aces in the win.
Newbury saw senior Danny Tiner (Salem, New Hampshire) lead the team with seven kills while popping up six digs, and freshman Wade Robidoux (Agawam, Massachusetts) chipped in with six kills, three block assists and a pair of digs. Freshman Michael Holihan (Northampton, Pennsylvania) put up 17 assists to go with three kills and six digs while senior libero Chi Yin Li (Framingham, Massachusetts) led the team with seven digs on the defensive side of the net.
Southern Vermont took to a 6-3 lead early in the opening set after Dighton put down a pair of consecutive kills. The two sides traded points before two SVC mishaps allowed Newbury to tie it at 10-10. The Mountaineers would never trail the rest of the way, but NC was able to tie the frame multiple times, the last being at 13-13 on an SVC service error. That's when Southern Vermont put its foot on the gas and pulled away, closing out the game with a 12-5 run. During that stretch, the Mountaineers scored 11 of those 12 points via a kill, Dighton accounting for three with another two coming from both Ramirez and senior Scott Fitzgerald (Queensbury, New York). SVC hit .406 in the set while taking the match point with the 25-18 edge.
Newbury was hard pressed to score consecutive points through the opening of the second game as the Mountaineers went on top 11-4 to force an NC timeout. After the stoppage, Newbury outscored SVC 6-3 through the next nine points as Robidoux landed two kills. Southern Vermont answered with three straight with help from a pair of Nighthawk errors, but Newbury then came back with a pair of scores after another timeout. Dighton and Walley each put down a kill as the Mountaineers took three of the next four points for the 20-13 set lead, but the visitors came back with three straight to close the gap. Service went back-and-forth through the remainder of the stanza before a pair of Dighton kills gave his team a commanding lead in the match with the 25-21 set win.
Southern Vermont carried its momentum into the third game, storming out to a 7-0 lead to take a quick cushion. After Fitzgerald ripped down a kill, Walley added another before serving up two straight aces to put his team in front by a good margin. The Nighthawk block game helped get NC back in it, and a Robidoux service ace then made it a 13-9 Southern Vermont lead. Mountaineers accounted for the next 11 points as SVC errors were the only Nighthawk scores during an 8-3 Southern Vermont run. The tables then turned as NC mishaps helped the hosts inch closer to the contest victory, and a final attacking error ended the Nighthawks' three-match winning streak with the 25-18 SVC decision in the third.
Southern Vermont concludes its four-match home stand on Saturday when the Mountaineers welcome Regis College to the MAC for a 1 p.m. NECC start. Newbury next heads to Wentworth Institute of Technology on Saturday for a 7 p.m. non-conference match.