SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — The Southern Vermont College men's volleyball team concluded its stay in the 2015 Springfield College Invitational Saturday afternoon, falling 3-1 to both Ramapo College and No. 6 SC at Blake Arena.
The Mountaineers move to 15-9 on the year with the pair of tough defeats.
SVC wraps up the regular season on Tuesday with a final New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) match, visiting Newbury College for a 7 p.m. first serve. That contest will determine the final two seeds in next weekend's NECC postseason tournament; a Mountaineer win would pit Southern Vermont against Regis College in Friday's semifinal while a Newbury victory will then see SVC and NC face-off for a third time.
Ramapo 3, Southern Vermont 1
The Mountaineers were able to take the first set 25-22, but Ramapo came back with three straight game victories to win the match (25-16, 25-21, 25-21).
Southern Vermont senior Keven Walley (Pico Rivera, Calif.) and freshman Stewart Ramirez (Los Angeles, Calif.) had nearly identical stat lines with each player recording a team-high 12 kills, 11 digs and an assist. SVC senior setter Herson Canta (Lagunitas, Calif.) assisted on 36 of the 41 Mountaineer kills while adding four digs, and senior libero Tino Escovedo (Fresno, Calif.) tallied a side-best 14 digs. Senior Scott Fitzgerald (Queensbury, N.Y.) registered nine kills, six digs and three total blocks in the effort.
The Mountaineers utilized a 4-0 run in the early portion of the first set, but the Roadrunners stayed within striking distance as the two squads traded serve. RC went on a 5-1 stretch to take a marginal lead (12-11), an advantage it would hold through a majority of the frame. Down 20-19, Southern Vermont saw four players record a kill during a 5-1 spurt that gave the upper hand back to the Mountaineers. An SVC attack error gave Ramapo the serve with Southern Vermont holding set point, but Fitzgerald landed his second kill of the box for the 25-22 game win.
RC jumped out to a 7-0 lead to start the second, but SVC climbed back with five straight points of its own. After a Mountaineer hitting error set the score to 12-8 in favor of the Roadrunners, neither team tallied consecutive points until Ramapo scored two straight for a 19-13 edge. RC then closed out the set with a 5-1 run to even the match at one-all.
The third set saw a back-and-forth battle through the frame as neither team led by more than three until the final point. Ramapo had a 7-5 advantage before SVC went on a 5-2 run to go in front by one. After the Roadrunners went back on top, Southern Vermont took to a 5-1 spurt that gave the Mountaineers a 16-14 lead. RC would tally the next five points, however, to go up 19-16 towards the end of the set. SVC registered three unanswered scores to tie things at 20-20, but Ramapo scored five of the last six points for the 25-21 game victory and 2-1 match advantage.
Fighting to extend the contest and force a fifth frame, Southern Vermont used eight kills, including three in-a-row, to go up 11-8 in the fourth. SVC maintained that separation until Ramapo went ahead on a 7-1 surge to grab a late lead (20-17). Two straight Mountaineer points made it a 22-20 affair, but RC used two kills to close out the match with a 3-1 run for the win.
Springfield 3, Southern Vermont 1
The hosting Pride, a team ranked sixth in the nation in the latest AVCA Coaches Poll, took the first set 25-15 before SVC tied the match with a 25-23 second-set win. Springfield then grabbed the third 25-16 and closed out the day with a 25-12 triumph in the fourth.
Walley led the team with 12 kills while adding five digs and a block assist to his line. Ramirez followed with 10 kills, four digs, and two service aces. Fitzgerald and senior Joey Dighton (Riverside, Calif.) added five kills apiece while Dighton totaled four blocks on the match. Canta registered 29 assists and popped up a team-best six digs.
A Walley kill put SVC on top 2-1 early in the match, but Springfield then rallied for four straight points to go in front 5-2. The Mountaineers kept things close and tied it at 7-7 on an SC attack error, but a 5-1 Pride spurt put the Invitational hosts back on top with a cushion. A Fitzgerald kill made it 14-11 before Springfield notched four unanswered points to extend the lead (18-11). The teams traded serve down the stretch, but the Pride closed out the frame on a 6-1 run for the 1-0 edge in the match.
Springfield used a 5-1 spurt to go up 6-3 in the second, but the Mountaineers answered with four consecutive points of their own to regain the lead. The Pride brought the momentum back to their side during a 6-2 run, and they would lead by as many as four before SVC came back to go on top for good. Three kills, including two straight from Walley, saw Southern Vermont take a 22-19 advantage late in the frame. SC trimmed it to one (22-21) with a kill and an ace, but Walley and Ramirez tallied kills to make it game point. A pair of SVC errors allowed Springfield to cut it back to one before Ramirez landed a final kill for the 25-23 victory.
The Pride led the whole way in the third, going up 7-2 early on. A 7-1 SC run put the hosts up by 10 before they scored four straight to take a 22-11 advantage. The Mountaineers scored three unanswered with help from two consecutive Ramirez kills, but Southern Vermont couldn't keep the momentum long enough as Springfield registered a kill for the 25-16 win.
SVC took a quick 6-5 edge in the fourth, only to have the Pride storm to a 9-1 run for the comfortable upper hand. Springfield continued its success with an 8-1 stretch to all but end it and wrap up the 3-1 victory.