BENNINGTON, Vt. – A strong block presence at the net helped carry the visiting Endicott College men's volleyball team over Southern Vermont College Tuesday night, 3-0, to remain undefeated in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) action at the Mountaineer Athletic Center.
EC won with game scores of 25-20, 25-19, 25-14.
The Mountaineers drop to 5-8 overall on the season, 2-2 in the conference, while the Gulls improve to 10-4 and 5-0 in NECC play.
Endicott recorded hitting averages of above .300 in each set with junior Travis Netherton (Waukegan, Ill.) leading the way at 11 kills; he committed only two hitting errors on 15 swings for a .600 hitting percentage.
The Mountaineers took a brief lead in the opening set, but EC was quick to answer as the teams went back-and-forth. The Gulls took a late lead which they would not relinquish while taking the frame 25-20.
Endicott grabbed four-straight points early in the second game to gain a quick advantage. The Gulls would slowly increase that margin before SVC tried to storm back later on in the set. EC remained tough and focused, however, to close it out 25-19.
In the final set, Southern Vermont would again take an early lead and used the momentum to jump out 4-1, but Endicott came right back with four unanswered of its own to go on top. The Mountaineers grabbed a momentary 6-5 lead, but the Gulls went on an 11-3 run and left SVC with a deficit it would be unable to overcome through the remainder of the match, falling 25-14.
Mountaineer junior outside hitter Anthony Barahona (Eagle Rock, Calif.) and sophomore middle Joey Dighton (Riverside, Calif.) each led the team with nine kills while Barahona, sophomore setter Herson Canta (Los Angeles, Calif.) and sophomore libero Florentino Escovedo (Fresno, Calif.) recorded eight digs apiece. Canta also had 21 assists for SVC.
Following Netherton on the Gulls was junior middle blocker Mike Coniglione (Glenville, N.Y.) who put down 10 kills, only notching two errors on 21 attack attempts for a .381 hitting percentage. Junior Josh Anderson (La Canada, Calif.) had six kills to go along with a match-high five block assists; Netherton also contributed four block assists and a solo for the Endicott defense. Freshman setter Tyler Bacon assisted on 30 of the 43 Gull kills. The team hit .393 on the night with 43 kills and 10 errors on 84 attack attempts.
The Mountaineers return to action Friday with a 4 p.m. NECC home match against Newbury College, and Endicott is off until Saturday's rematch against SVC at 1 p.m. on the Gull's home court.