Women’s Volleyball Dominates in 3-0 Sweep at Johnson State

sarah billow goes for a block

JOHNSON, Vt. – Southern Vermont College had a dominating performance Wednesday night as the visiting Mountaineers defeated Johnson State College 3-0 in non-conference women's volleyball action at Carter Gym.

Three SVC players recorded more kills by themselves than the Badgers totaled all evening (4). Southern Vermont kept the hosts in single digits the entire match—taking it with set scores of 25-4, 25-8, and 25-9.

The Mountaineers cap their three-straight days of action on Thursday when they host SUNY Cobleskill; SVC will line up against the Fighting Tigers for the second time this year at the Mountaineer Athletic Center for a 7 p.m. non-conference first serve. Southern Vermont defeated Cobleskill 3-2 back on September 23.

SVC junior captain Liv Sowles (Sacramento, Calif.) tallied a match-high 15 kills while not committing a single attacking error on 27 swings for a .556 hitting percentage; she also had a team-best six kills and four service aces on the night. Freshman Nikki Ramirez (West Covina, Calif.) notched 12 kills and four aces while junior libero Heidy Benitez (Tulare, Calif.) had a match-best seven aces to go along with her five digs.

Southern Vermont senior captain Julia Florence (Salem, Mass.) registered a career-high five kills, and sophomore setter Abigail Landon (South Glens Falls, N.Y.) chalked up 29 assists while adding three digs and an ace to her line.

The visitors recorded a season-high .391 hitting percentage with only nine attacking errors on 64 total attempts; the Mountaineers' previous best was a .231 against Mitchell College on October 6. By set, the team hit .391, .500, and .333.

Southern Vermont jumped out to a 9-1 run with three Sowles kills to start the match, and the team never looked back. The Mountaineers would then take to a 12-1 surge as Sowles landed another four kills while Florence chipped in with a pair. SVC took the last four points of the frame to close it out as a Ramirez kill was followed by three-straight Benitez aces.

Johnson State won the first two points of the second game, but Southern Vermont stormed back to seize the momentum with a 9-1 run highlighted by four aces and a pair of Ramirez kills. The Badgers would win three straight to get within five—only to see the Mountaineers rally again and win 10 of the next 11 behind another two Florence kills. After JSC got one back, SVC scored six unanswered points with a pair of Ramirez kills and two Sowles aces to close out the stanza.

Southern Vermont took the opening five points in the third set with a couple of Ramirez kills, but Johnson State kept it close by taking the next three. SVC would slowly extend its lead back to five with a pair of Sowles kills, and the Mountaineers then went on a 5-1 run, with three more by the junior captain, to stake a 16-7 advantage. The Badgers would land a kill at that point, but the visitors followed by running off six straight as Benitez notched three aces to complement back-to-back Ramirez kills. SVC then finished the evening with three consecutive kills as Ramirez put down a pair before Sowles notched her 15th to end it.

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