BENNINGTON, Vt. – Southern Vermont College never let up after having its back on the ropes Saturday night to pull out a 3-2 New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) women's volleyball victory over Dean College during Senior Day at the Mountaineer Athletic Center.
SVC went on top with a 25-18 victory in the first set before DC came back to tie the match with a 25-21 edging in the second. Southern Vermont took the third with a 25-21 margin in the third game, but the Bulldogs were able to stay in it with an elongated 29-27 fourth-set win. Dean would go on top 8-6 in the fifth—only to see the Mountaineers score six unanswered after their timeout before closing out the league triumph with a 15-10 win in the last frame.
Southern Vermont now prepares for its Tuesday night home playoff match against Bay Path University—a first-round matchup slated to begin at 7 p.m. The Mountaineers conclude the regular season with a 4-3 record in league play (8-18 overall) for their first Conference mark above .500 since 2013 (7-1).
Before Saturday's first serve, SVC recognized and honored its senior members in middle blocker Julia Florence (Salem, Mass.) and team manager Kelsey Carrera (Queensbury, N.Y.).
Southern Vermont junior Liv Sowles (Sacramento, Calif.) had her first 30-plus night of her career as she tallied a match-leading 32 kills to go along with her 14 digs and three block assists. Freshman Nikki Ramirez (West Covina, Calif.) followed with a season-high 22 kills while also registering 21 digs and four aces, and sophomore setter Abigail Landon (South Glens Falls, N.Y.) had another season-best as she assisted on 55 of the 58 Mountaineer kills.
SVC junior libero Heidy Benitez (Tulare, Calif.) recorded a match-high 35 digs in the win as sophomore Sarah Billow (South Glens Falls, N.Y.) notched five service aces and five digs. Bennington College freshman Kemly Derby (New York, N.Y.) had three kills, three digs, and three blocks for the hosts.
Dean was led by freshman Aminah Tsonga (Plainville, Conn.) who had 24 kills, 21 digs, and three solo blocks in the effort. Junior captain Kaitlyn Anderson (Clinton, Conn.) tallied 14 kills and a team-best 23 digs while sophomore Melanie Rios-Nevarez (Vega Alta, Puerto Rico) registered 33 assists, nine digs, and a pair of aces. Sophomore Sami Mulcahy (Taunton, Mass.) had 19 digs in the effort as the visitors totaled 108 on their defensive end.
Full recap to follow.