ITHACA, N.Y. – The storied 2018 run for the Southern Vermont College women's volleyball team came to an end Friday night as the Mountaineers fell 3-0 to Ithaca College in the first round of the NCAA Division III championship tournament at Ben Light Gymnasium.
The Bombers took the first set by a 25-10 clip before topping SVC 25-12 in the second. IC then completed the sweep with a 25-6 victory in the third.
Southern Vermont ends the year with an overall record of 21-7.
The Mountaineers were led in the kills column by sophomore Nikki Ramirez (West Covina, Calif.) who had four, and senior captain Liv Sowles (Sacramento, Calif.) followed with three while adding four digs. Junior Abby Landon (South Glens Falls, N.Y.) tallied a pair of kills as classmate Sarah Baty (Portola, Calif.) chalked up seven assists. Senior libero Heidy Benitez (Tulare, Calif.) and junior Dahlia Rafael-Tirado (Providence, R.I.) each had three digs on the night.
Sowles racked up 387 kills on the year—that being the third most in team history for a single season and putting her at second on the program's all-time list with 716. Baty's 518 assists in 2018 were the fifth most in a single season, and Benitez's 569 digs were the most for SVC by 105. Junior Meg Maddalena (Portola, Calif.) tallied 66 total blocks on the year to put herself at fourth on the team's single season record list. Benitez finished her career with 1,033 digs—surpassing the previous all-time mark by 291.
The Bombers started the night with a bounce in their step—quickly going on top 5-1 before SVC took its first timeout of the match. Ithaca built its lead up to 15-3 to force a second Mountaineer stoppage, and that separation would be increased to 15 at the end of the frame for IC to take the opener.
Southern Vermont stayed close in the early stages of the second game, but Ithaca was able to slowly pull away and go on top 13-6. Following a timeout, SVC got one back after a great dig by freshman Alyssa Kuchis (Amsterdam, N.Y.), and Sowles added a kill shortly after. The rest was all IC, however, with the Bombers closing the set on an 11-4 run which included six unanswered points at the end.
Ithaca made quick work of the third set to wrap up a busy day at the Hill Center. The Bombers scored the first 11 points of the stanza before Ramirez tipped down a kill to get SVC on the board. Landon dropped a nice kill later on, but IC proved to be too much for the Mountaineers to handle as the hosts moved into the regional semifinals.
– #LetsGoSVC –