PITTSFORD, N.Y. – In a talent-loaded Golden Flyer Invitational, the Southern Vermont College men's volleyball team dropped both of its matches on the first day, losing to hosting Nazareth College 3-0 in the tournament-opener and then 3-1 to Emmanuel College on Saturday.
Junior Cole Hutter (Shadow Hills, Calif.) amassed a match-high 14 kills to lead fifth-ranked Nazareth College to the three-set victory (25-16, 25-21, 25-23). A total of nine players recorded kills for the Golden Flyers' balanced scoring attack.
In the opening match, the Golden Flyers took control with hitting percentages of .435 and .441 in the first and third sets, respectively. Southern Vermont held Nazareth to a percentage of .182 in the second set thanks to digs and blocks. Between the first and third sets, the Golden Flyers amassed a total of 35 kills and only 10 hitting errors.
Kevin Walley (Pico Rivera, Calif.) finished with a team-high seven kills for the Mountaineers as Herson Canta (Los Angeles, Calif.) recorded 18 assists as the primary setter. Walley and sophomore libero Florentino Escovedo (Fresno, Calif.) both shared the match-high of five digs. Sophomore Joey Dighton (Riverside, Calif.) had three solo blocks and three block assists in the match.
In addition to the kills from Hutter, sophomore Luke Lawatsch (Penfield, N.Y.) and freshman Tim Zyburt (Wheaton, Ill.) each tallied seven kills. Senior EJ Wells-Spicer (Phelps, N.Y.) recorded a match-high 41 assists and senior Connor Ecklund (Harrisburg, Pa.) recorded a team-high five digs.
Against Nol. 15 Emmanuel, the Mountaineers were able to take the first set 25-20 before the Saints ripped three straight with game scores of 25-18, 25-14, and 25-20.
SVC saw its best hitting percentage come in the first set when the Mountaineers put down 11 kills with six errors on 26 attempts for a .192. The Mountaineers battled hard in the fourth while trying to extend the match, recording 11 kills again with seven errors on 28 attempts for a .143 percentage.
The Saints presented issues with their block as Emmanuel totaled nine blocks on the match with freshman Garrett McGarry (Chicago, Ill.) recording five block assists.
Southern Vermont junior Anthony Barahona (Las Vegas, Nev.) led all players with 14 kills; he had seven errors on 29 attempts for a .241 hitting percentage. Walley racked up 11 kills while Escovedo had a match-high 11 digs on the defensive end. Canta assisted 25 of the 33 Mountaineer kills.
Emmanuel sophomore outside hitter Ashanti Jackson (Sacramento, Calif.) led the Saints with 10 of their 54 kills, and senior setter Nick Updike (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) recorded a match-high 42 assists. Updike also led the team with 10 digs. The Saints' most efficient set came in the third when they had 15 kills and only two errors on 21 attempts for a .619 hitting percentage.
Southern Vermont drops to 2-2 on the season.
The Mountaineers continue the Golden Flyer Invitational on Sunday with matches against Elmira College (11 a.m.) and Mass. Institute of Technology (1 p.m.).