Women’s Volleyball Bests Lesley 3-0, Nichols 3-1 in Bison Tri-match

liv sowles hits the ball

DUDLEY, Mass. – The Southern Vermont College women's volleyball team picked up a pair of wins Saturday during Nichols College's tri-match—the first being a 3-0 New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) victory over Lesley University.

The Mountaineers swept the Lynx in their league opener before topping the hosting Bison 3-1.

Southern Vermont (9-1, 1-0 NECC) is back at home for its next match with the Mountaineers hosting The Sage Colleges at 7:30 p.m. on Monday.

Southern Vermont 3 – Lesley 0
SVC blanked LU with set scores of 25-16, 25-15, and 25-18.

Mountaineer senior captain Liv Sowles (Sacramento, Calif.) notched a match-high 13 kills while adding four digs to her line, and senior libero Heidy Benitez (Tulare, Calif.) had a match-best nine digs for Southern Vermont. Junior Sarah Baty (Portola, Calif.) assisted on 22 of the 35 SVC kills while notching four of her own and three service aces. Fellow junior Meg Maddalena (Portola, Calif.) had eight kills and just two attacking errors on 15 swings in the win.

Baty ripped across three-straight aces early in the contest to help SVC go up 8-2, and the Mountaineers never relinquished the lead. Maddalena would land two kills as Southern Vermont won the final four points and grabbed the opening set.

SVC trailed 9-7 in the second before going on a 10-2 run to pull ahead. The Mountaineers then took seven of the last nine for a 2-0 advantage in the match; sophomore Nikki Ramirez (West Covina, Calif.) posted a pair of kills in that stretch while Baty and Maddalena each added one of their own.

After both teams had short spurts to start the third set, Southern Vermont went on an 11-1 surge behind a pair of Sowles kills. Points went back-and-forth the rest of the way for the Mountaineers to finish off the sweep and start their Conference schedule with a win.

Southern Vermont 3 – Nichols 1
Southern Vermont edged Nichols 26-24 in the opening set of its second match before taking a strong 25-15 win in the next stanza. The Bison avoided being swept with a 25-19 victory in the third game, but SVC came back to end it by grabbing the fourth set with a 25-14 tally.

Sowles again chalked up a match-best in the kills column with 15, and Benitez tallied 22 digs defensively. Maddalena and Ramirez each had nine kills while Baty registered 32 assists, nine digs, four kills, and three aces.

The Bison used nine-straight points to take a comfortable lead in the first game, but SVC battled back and utilized an 8-2 run to get within three. With NC holding set point, Southern Vermont remained resilient and won the next five points to come from behind and win the frame; Ramirez tallied consecutive kills in the comeback while Benitez recorded an ace.

Points went back-and-forth in the second until SVC went on a 7-1 run to go in front by three. Eight unanswered points from the Mountaineers then set them up to cruise into a 2-0 match advantage.

Fighting to extend the contest, Nichols went on a 6-1 spurt midway through the third for a lead the Bison would maintain through the end of the set. A strong start to the fourth by Southern Vermont, however, quickly put the Mountaineers in the driver's seat; eight-straight points helped SVC go on top 11-1 with Maddalena posting three kills in that run. The deficit was too much for Nichols to overcome as the Mountaineers won their second match of the afternoon.