BENNINGTON, Vt. – The Southern Vermont College women's volleyball had a solid win tonight over previously unbeaten Western New England University, 3-0. The Mountaineers remain unbeaten on the season, moving to 8-0.
The Golden Bears (7-1) came out strong, getting ahead of SVC in the early going. The Mountaineers were able to battle back a handful of times to tie the score in the opening set, but were never able to garner a lead.
They eventually broke through late in the first when they went ahead 20-19. SVC continued to press and ended the game, 25-21, with hard-fought efforts by senior libero Vivian Delgado (La Puente, Calif.) and senior outside hitter Cindyline Sevilla (Los Angeles, Calif.).
The remainder of the night saw much of the same back-and-forth action, with both teams unable to pull away from one another. SVC was able to hold on, however, to win the next two sets, 25-22 and 25-20.
"Our defense is what won us the game tonight," said Mountaineer head coach Josh Stokes. "I'm proud of our girls for stepping it up when they were eight points down; they really picked up the tempo." Captains Danielle Healis (Escondido, Calif.) and Carrie Baltazar (Whittier, Calif.) assisted each other on two blocks, while Healis tallied another solo on the match.
Healis led all players with a .450 hitting percentage, registering 11 kills and only two errors on 20 attempts. Western New England's libero Grace Kucharski (Avon, Conn.) had a game-high 16 digs, while SVC senior Jessica Alvarez (Los Angeles, Calif.) led the way with 14 kills on the night. Mountaineer senior captain Alicia Manzo (Clovis, Calif.) had a well-rounded match with seven kills, three assists, eight digs and a service ace.
"Every single one of our players did something tonight," said Stokes. "That's called being a team."
The Mountaineers take a small hiatus from competition, next playing in a tri-match on September 22 at Colby-Sawyer College against the Chargers and Emerson College. The Golden Bears next play on Saturday in their Commonwealth Coast Conference-opener at 1 p.m. at the University of New England.