HOLYOKE, Mass.- Wednesday night the Southern Vermont Women's Volleyball team won the 2011 New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) regular season championship. The Mountaineers traveled to Holyoke Community College for a conference match against Bay Path College. Southern Vermont came away victorious with a 3-0 victory, improving its school best record to 28-2, 7-0 NECC. The Mountaineers have also won an NCAA history eighth best 42 consecutive sets.
"This was our first goal of three. We are the NECC regular season champions, now we start focusing on goal two, to win the rest of our games in order to reach goal three. Goal three is the objective, the NCAA tournament," said SVC Head Coach Josh Stokes.
The Mountaineers won by impressive scores again Wednesday with 25-10, 25-13, and 25-15 victories over the fourth place Wildcats. Southern Vermont was paced by reigning NECC Player of the Week Alicia Manzo who had 13 kills and a .522 hitting percentage. Manzo's classmate Danielle Healis also had 13 kills for the Mountaineers. Manzo also had a team best four service aces.
"Lefty (Manzo) proved why she is the NECC Player of the Week. Joanna Hogue also gave us a solid performance with her defensive display," mentioned Stokes.
Hogue, a senior captain, had 15 digs in the match, to lead a Mountaineer defense that held the Wildcats to a .011 hitting percentage. Co-captain Hershey Canta led SVC with 33 assists. For the match the Mountaineers hit .351.
The NECC Championship is not only about the 2011 Southern Vermont Women's Volleyball team. It is also about the amazing turn around the program has endured over the past two seasons. A team that in 2008 and 2009 combined to go 1-42 has now went 42-11 since Stokes took over the program in August of 2010.
"Stanford Men's Volleyball Program used a motto, worst to first. Last season, this program bought into the same motto and has risen from the bottom to the top of the NECC."
Southern Vermont will look to close out the 2011 regular season Saturday at Daniel Webster. Then the Mountaineers will host the NECC Championships next Friday and Saturday at the Mountaineer Athletic Center. The winner of the NECC Championship will have the right to play in the NCAA tournament.