Women’s Volleyball Rolls Past Mitchell for NECC Sweep

liv sowles attacks the ball

NEW LONDON, Conn. – Southern Vermont College was back on the road for the second time in as many days Saturday and ran away with a 3-0 New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) women's volleyball win over Mitchell College at the Yarnall Athletic Center.

SVC won each set by 25-15 margins to stay perfect in league play and collect its ninth victory over the Mariners in the last 10 meetings between the two.

The Mountaineers improve to 13-2 on the season and 3-0 in NECC action with the win. Southern Vermont is back at it on Tuesday with a 7 p.m. non-conference tilt at SUNY Cobleskill.

Mountaineer senior captain Liv Sowles (Sacramento, Calif.) led all players with 24 kills—that being a career-best in a three-set match; her overall career-high came on October 28, 2017 when she tallied 32 in a 3-2 win over Dean College. Sowles also had 10 digs for her third-straight double-double while classmate Heidy Benitez (Tulare, Calif.) led SVC with 14. Sophomore Nikki Ramirez (West Covina, Calif.) registered 11 digs and nine kills, and junior Taryn Higareda (Rosemead, Calif.) had 18 assists to go along with her five digs.

Southern Vermont jumped out to a four-point lead early in the first set with four Sowles kills, and service was traded until the Mountaineers rattled off five-straight to go up by double digits. That separation stood through the final whistle of the game.

SVC won six unanswered points in the onset of the second—that run being aided by four more Sowles kills as she continued to stay on point. Ramirez put down back-to-back kills during a 4-0 Mountaineer spurt, and the visitors closed out the frame on an 8-3 run to handily go ahead 2-0 in the match. Sowles scored the first three points of that latter stretch via kills, and junior Meg Maddalena (Portola, Calif.) chipped in with two of her own.

The third game was tightly-contested in the early portion of the stanza with Mitchell leading 8-7 after consecutive points. The Mountaineers then turned the tables, however, by storming to a 14-2 run which included nine unanswered points; Sowles put down five kills during that time, and Maddalena provided another pair. MC took the next four, but that would be far short of the needed comeback as the Mountaineers finished off the set for the third sweep in their last four matches.