BROOKLINE, Mass. — The Southern Vermont College men's volleyball team concluded its 2015 regular season Tuesday night, going on the road to defeat Newbury College 3-1 in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) action at Hellenic College.
The Nighthawks took the opening set 25-16 before SVC tied the match with a 26-24 edging in the second. Southern Vermont then won the third and fourth, convincingly, with 25-13 triumphs in each frame.
The Mountaineers head into this weekend's NECC postseason tournament with a 16-9 overall mark and 10-2 record in Conference play. The loss drops NC to 9-14 and 6-6 against the league, making the Nighthawks the No. 4 seed in the upcoming playoffs. As the second seed, Southern Vermont will take on No. 3 Regis College in Friday's second semifinal, start time slated for around 8 p.m. at top-seeded Endicott. The hosting Gulls will open the tourney with a 6 p.m. semi against Newbury.
SVC freshman Stewart Ramirez (Los Angeles, Calif.) led all players with 14 kills, adding eight digs, three block assists and two service aces to his line. Senior Joey Dighton (Riverside, Calif.) followed with 10 kills and five total blocks while classmate and setter Herson Canta (Lagunitas, Calif.) assisted on 42 of the 49 Mountaineer kills.
Southern Vermont senior libero Tino Escovedo (Fresno, Calif.) tallied a match-best 12 digs, giving him 1,004 for his career. Classmate Keven Walley (Pico Rivera, Calif.) had nine kills and nine digs while classmate Scott Fitzgerald (Queensbury, N.Y.) chipped in with another nine kills and five digs.
Newbury came out of the gate red-hot, jumping out to the 1-0 match advantage with the 25-16 win. Nearly the entire team recorded a block, being led by freshman outside hitter Xavier Brown-Rose (Wilbraham, Mass.). Brown-Rose was a beast at the net, tallying two kills on three attempts while registering two block assists. Classmate Wade Robidoux (Agawam, Mass.) and sophomore middle hitter Nile Fox (Hampton, Va.) also finished with two blocks in the set.
However, the Mountaineers rallied back in game two to tie up the match at 1-1, edging out the Nighthawks 26-24. Dighton landed four kills for a .500 attack percentage while registering two of the team's six total blocks. The Nighthawks also recorded six blocks in the set with Robidoux leading the way with three of his own.
Following Southern Vermont's game-two victory, momentum shifted towards the Mountaineers. Hitting a staggering .519 as a team with 15 kills on 27 attempts and just one miscue, the Mountaineers took the third set 25-13 to take the match advantage. Dighton was a perfect five-for-five from the floor to lead Southern Vermont to the win.
The Mountaineers continued to carry their momentum into the fourth set, registering a .300 attack percentage with 13 kills on 30 attempts as a team. Ramirez, who ignited the Mountaineer offense in the second set, capped off the night with seven kills on 10 attempts and just one error for a .600 attack percentage as Southern Vermont claimed the match with the 25-13 game win.