BENNINGTON, Vt.- The Southern Vermont College Women's Volleyball team started its season with a bang on Thursday afternoon at the Mountaineer Athletic Center. SVC played host to Castleton State in the first match of the day, and won 3-0 before they beat MCLA 3-1. The wins for the Mountaineers marked the first time in program history it had beat either school, and the first time the program won its season opener.
The Mountaineers came out firing on all cylinders to take the first set 25-3 over visiting Castleton State. SVC continued to play well throughout the first match and went on to win 25-18 and 25-10 in straight sets.
In the match against Castleton Danielle Healis smacked a .556 hitting percentage connecting on 11 of 18 attempts. Senior Captain Hershey Canta produced most of the offense, finishing the match with 20 assists. Marissa Flores, made an immediate impact in her freshman debut to finish with six service aces.
For the Spartans whose offensive attack was held in check by the 6'1 Healis and other Mountaineers, Grace Schreiber hit for a .375 percentage.
In the nightcap versus MCLA, the Trailblazers didn't allow for a quick SVC start. MCLA took set one from SVC by the score of 25-23. The Mountaineers responded quickly however to win the final three sets by the scores of 25-14, 25-11, and 25-12.
Healis once again led the Mountaineers attack with an improved .600 average. In match two Healis connected for 20 kills on 30 attempts, only committing two errors. She had plenty of help this time though, as Alicia Manzo had 17 kills and Jessica Alvarez laced 14. Canta again was the heart to the offense with 34 assists in the four games. Defensively, all-time dig leader Joanna Hogue had 13 digs.
"Danielle and Lefty (Alicia Manzo) paced our offense tonight, both hit over .500 for the matches. Our defense really held down the floor by limiting both teams to a combined 17 kills. Hogue, Canta, and [Vivian] Delgado really are a solid combination on defense," said a pleased head coach, Josh Stokes.
The Mountaineers will hope to continue their quality of play this weekend as they travel to the Hamilton tournament. In the tournament the team will play four matches between Friday and Saturday. SVC returns home next Wednesday the 7th to host Green Mountain College at 7:00PM in the Mountaineer Athletic Center.
MCLA vs. Castleton St.
In the middle match of the night MCLA won against Castleton 3-0. The Trailblazers Kayla Bromback had six kills and Taylor Warnock connected on four kills. The Blazers played well defensively picking up 38 digs in the three sets. The Spartans of Castleton were led by Ruth Tomlinson's four kills. Nicole Valastro and Alyssa Sherman each had 10 digs.