Women’s Volleyball Blanks Becker at Home

liv sowles hits the ball

BENNINGTON, Vt. – The Southern Vermont College women's volleyball team snapped its four-match losing streak to Becker College on Saturday as the hosts swept the Hawks in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) action at the Mountaineer Athletic Center.

SVC took the day with game scores of 25-11, 25-15, and 25-17.

Southern Vermont (17-5, 6-1 NECC) is next in action on Wednesday with an 8 p.m. Conference tilt at Bay Path University. The Hawks (10-9, 4-4 NECC) are back on the court Tuesday for a 7 p.m. home contest with league foe Newbury College.

Mountaineer senior captain Liv Sowles (Sacramento, Calif.) registered a match-best 16 kills while adding seven digs to her line, and junior Meg Maddalena (Portola, Calif.) chipped in with eight kills. Senior libero Heidy Benitez (Tulare, Calif.) had a match-high 19 digs as junior Taryn Higareda (Rosemead, Calif.) notched 17 assists, nine digs, and six kills.

Becker senior Veronica Patella-Quinones (Tampa, Fla.) and junior Gillian Criddle (Earleville, Md.) each had six kills for the Hawks while Pattella-Quinones added nine digs. Freshman libero Joanna Bampi (Peabody, Mass.) led the team with 14 digs with junior Sofia Cullina (Deep River, Conn.) following right behind at 13.

SVC made only two attacking errors on 33 swings in the first set to record a .364 hitting percentage. The Mountaineers jumped out to a 7-1 upper hand with three Sowles kills, and they would later get a pair from Maddalena to push their advantage into double digits after six unanswered points. Sowles and Maddalena each finished with five kills in the frame while Higareda assisted on 11 of the team's 14.

Southern Vermont then stormed out to a 10-1 lead to start the second game with the help of three service aces by sophomore Nikki Ramirez (West Covina, Calif.). Becker slowly cut it to a five-point edge midway through the stanza as Criddle had a pair of kills during an 8-3 Hawk run. Cullina notched eight digs on the defensive end throughout the set, but it wasn't enough to stop the Mountaineer offense with Sowles tacking up six kills in the game for the hosts to go up 2-0 in the match.

Benitez served up three aces early in the third to help her team go in front 9-2, and the Mountaineers never looked back en route to the sweep. Sowles had another five-kill set while Higareda chipped in with four. Southern Vermont totaled six service aces while not making a single receiving error through the frame. SVC conceded just one ace to the Hawks all day.