BROOKLINE, Mass. – The sixth-seeded Southern Vermont College women's volleyball team's season came to a close Tuesday night as the Mountaineers fell 3-0 at No. 3 Newbury College in a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) first round playoff matchup.
The Nighthawks took the evening with set wins of 25-17, 25-21, and 25-17.
NC improves to 16-10 on the year with the victory, and Southern Vermont concludes its 2014 campaign with a 7-15 overall record.
Mountaineer senior Alexandra Sinicropi (Fultonville, New York) led the Mountaineers with eight kills to go along with seven digs on the night. Classmate Jessica Delgado (Los Angeles, California) followed with seven kills and five digs, adding two block assists and three service aces to her line. SVC junior Sheilani Kaleopa (Riverside, California) tallied a team-best nine digs while assisting on 17 kills.
Newbury sophomore Courtney Banks (Corona, California) recorded a match-high 12 kills while senior Meghan McDermott (Hampton, New Hampshire) led all players with 17 digs to go with three service aces. Nighthawk freshman setter Heather Parish (Tucson, Arizona) assisted on 36 of the team's 41 kills.
Delgado finishes her career at SVC as the program's fourth all-time leader in both kills (472) and digs (480). Kaleopa ends the season still ranked fourth for all-time assists at Southern Vermont, totaling 971 so far for her career, just three shy of the third-highest mark. She is also five short of being fifth in service aces, currently sitting with 115.
The Nighthawks wasted little time and grabbed a 1-0 advantage with a 25-17 first set victory. Banks was nearly perfect from the floor as she notched a set-high five kills on eight attempts for a .625 attack percentage. Sinicropi kept the Mountaineers in the game, tallying four kills on eight attempts with just one error.
Southern Vermont battled hard in an attempt to tie the match in the second set, keeping pace with Newbury throughout the game. Late in the stanza, following a kill by Sinicropi to take a one-point lead, momentum appeared to have shifted towards the Mountaineers as they quickly jumped on top for the first time all game, 19-17. However, the Nighthawks answered with a 3-0 run to put themselves back on top by one.
The Mountaineers were not going to go away, tying up the score at 20-20. But sophomores Kylie Kowalski (Wrightstown, New Jersey) and Kataya Sykes (Brockton, Massachusetts) recorded back-to-back kills in the midst of a 4-0 run to seal the 25-21 victory.
The Nighthawks were one set away from advancing to the NECC Semifinals for the sixth straight year heading into the third frame, and they rallied for the victory behind Banks and freshman Lina Miranda (Brockton, Massachusetts). The duo combined to hit .550 from the floor while posting 12 kills en route to the 25-17 win.
Newbury will next travel to Regis College on Friday for a semifinal showdown against No. 2 Lesley University.