BEVERLY, Mass. – In the first semifinal of the New England Collegiate Conference Men's Volleyball Championship, Southern Vermont College fell to Endicott College on the Gulls' home court 3-0 Friday evening at MacDonald Gymnasium.
The Gulls took the match with game scores of 25-21, 25-18, and 25-17.
Southern Vermont kept the first set close, tying the score up a handful of times with the last being at 20-20. Endicott was able to land the last few kills with a service ace, however, and take the game 25-21.
The Mountaineers took a quick but brief lead in the second frame with EC needing to battle back a number of times. With the game tied 12-12, the Gulls went on a 6-1 run that put them ahead for good, getting help from SVC attack errors. Southern Vermont was able to close it down to 20-17, but Endicott then used three kills and a couple SVC errors to win the set 25-18.
Endicott carried the momentum into the third game, jumping out to a 10-3 lead early on. The two teams then went back-and-forth for a majority of the set's remainder as the Gulls inched their way to the 25 mark for the match win.
Southern Vermont was led by junior Anthony Barahona (Eagle Rock, Calif.) who put down 12 kills on the night, committing only three errors on 28 swings. Sophomore setter Herson Canta (Los Angeles, Calif.) assisted on 25 of the 30 Mountaineer kills, adding two kills and five blocks on the night. Sophomore libero Florentino Escovedo (Fresno, Calif.) led the team with eight digs.
The Gulls carried a .394 hitting percentage on the match with the lowest set being the third in which they hit .345. Senior Matt Devendorf (Glastonbury, Conn.) recorded a match-high 13 kills on the night while adding five digs. Junior Aaron Jesse (Okinawa, Japan) had 12 digs, and junior Mike Coniglione (Glenville, N.Y.) recorded five of the 12 Gull block assists while adding a solo and seven kills. Junior sett Carter Roche (Clifton Park, N.Y.) had 41 assists of the 47 EC kills.
The Mountaineers finish the season with a 11-21 mark, and the Gulls (21-9) will play in the Championship bout Saturday against the winner of Daniel Webster College (2) and Elms College (3) at Endicott at 2 p.m.