Women’s Volleyball Sweeps Opening Day of The Vermont Volleyball Classic With 3-0 Wins Over NVU-Lyndon, NVU-Johnson

sarah baty sets the ball

BENNINGTON, Vt. – Both the Southern Vermont College and Norwich University women's volleyball teams won a pair of contests at the Mountaineer Athletic Center Sunday as the two squads defeated Northern Vermont University-Lyndon and Northern Vermont University-Johnson by 3-0 tallies in the opening day of the inaugural The Vermont Volleyball Classic.

NVU-Johnson and NVU-Lyndon will square off at 10 a.m. Monday morning as the tournament continues, and SVC will then match up with Norwich at 12 p.m. Sunday's results ensure that NVU-Johnson and NVU-Lyndon will play one another again in the 2 p.m. consolation contest before Southern Vermont and NU line up at 4 p.m. for the championship match.

SVC and Norwich both begin their regular seasons at 2-0—that being the first time Southern Vermont has done it since 2012. NVU-Lyndon falls to 0-4 on the young campaign while NVU-Johnson drops to 0-3.

The Mountaineers took the opening match with set scores of 25-2, 25-8, and 25-7.

SVC junior Meg Maddalena (Portola, Calif.) led all players with 11 kills while senior Heidy Benitez (Tulare, Calif.) registered a match-best 14 digs. Junior Dahlia Rafael-Tirado (Providence, R.I.) amassed an outstanding 12 service aces while assisting on 14 of the 26 Southern Vermont kills.

Hornet senior Faith Richard (Acushnet, Mass.) posted a team-leading nine digs, and she also recorded a kill and an ace. Classmate Alexis Britch (Essex Junction, Vt.) added six digs and a service ace for NVU-Lyndon.

The second contest of the day saw NU win with game scores of 25-8, 25-17, and 25-7.

Norwich junior Michele Zummo (Highland Mills, N.Y.) registered a match-best eight kills while sophomore Kathryn Farnum (North Andover, Mass.) followed with six. Senior Emily Oliver (Sagamore Hills, Ohio) facilitated the offense with 21 assists, and she also had three digs and two kills in the win.

Richard once again led the Hornets in the kills column as she landed four, and freshman Emily Clancy (Durham, Conn.) tacked up four aces and three digs for NVU-Lyndon.

The Cadets took their opening set against NVU-Johnson by a 25-13 clip before winning the second stanza 25-10. NU was up 24-13 in the third before the Badgers rattled off seven straight to get within four; Norwich was able to close it out, however, with a Zummo kill for its second sweep of the day.

Farnum had a match-high seven kills in addition to her three aces, and Oliver assisted on 18 of the Cadets' 22 kills while posting a team-best eight digs. Zummo finished with six kills, five digs, and three service aces for NU.

NVU-Johnson's Nikola Knapova led her squad with six kills, and she also had two digs in the effort. Setter Julie Van Etten popped up 13 assists and seven digs for the Badgers while libero Jenna Murowski chalked up a match-high 10 digs.

Despite taking more than four hours off in-between matches, the Mountaineers kept rolling as they swept NVU-Johnson in the day-cap with straight-set scores of 25-6, 25-11, and 25-10.

SVC freshman Logan Wheeler (Red Bluff, Calif.) put down a match-best 12 kills while adding three digs, and senior captain Liv Sowles (Sacramento, Calif.) notched 10 kills, six aces, and four digs. Benitez totaled 19 digs in addition to having three assists and a pair of aces, and junior Sarah Baty (Portola, Calif.) provided 12 assists and five digs for the Mountaineers.

Knapova led the Badgers with five kills as Van Etten tacked up seven assists and six digs. Murawski and Kimberly Reville each had another six digs with Reville also having four kills against Norwich.