BENNINGTON, Vt. – The defending New England Collegiate Conference Champion Southern Vermont College women's volleyball team began its road back to the NCAA tournament Saturday when it hosted a tri-match with Norwich University and Mass College of Liberal Arts. The Mountaineers won both games, 3-0, while Norwich beat MCLA, 3-0, in the middle match.
In the opening game against Norwich, 2011 NECC Player of the Year Jessica Alvarez (Sr., Los Angeles, Calif.) accumulated 13 kills on 28 attempts. Junior Carrie Baltazar (Whittier, Calif.) had four service aces and five digs for the Mountaineers in the program's first-ever win over the Cadets. Norwich's Tara Lyons led the team with nine digs.
The second game saw MCLA battle Norwich, with the Cadets edging out the Trailblazers 25-13, 25-23, 25-18. Norwich's MaryRose Meany and Kelsey Mancini both accounted for seven kills, while two others had six in the match. MCLA's Julia Christian had a team-leading 12 kills.
As the evening wore on, the Mountaineers again took to the court to knock-off MCLA in three sets. Senior Danielle Healis (Escondido, Calif.) put down 10 kills on 15 attempts. She had a .552 hitting percentage on the day. Kelley Bryant had 14 digs for the Trailblazers.
"I'm really satisfied with today and what we were able to do," said third-year coach Josh Stokes. The Mountaineers move on to play at Castleton State Wednesday the 5th. Norwich next travels to Johnson State on Tuesday while MCLA takes the week off and sees its next action next weekend at the Keuka College Invitational.