BENNINGTON, Vt. – Southern Vermont College continues to roll through the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) men's volleyball schedule as the Mountaineers took down Regis College 3-0 for the season sweep Saturday afternoon at the Mountaineer Athletic Center.
SVC won the match with set scores of 25-23, 25-19, and 25-22.
The Mountaineers improve to 10-4 overall on the season and 4-0 in the Conference, now having won its last 12 NECC sets after dropping the first in the league opener to Regis. RC falls to 3-12 on the year and 1-3 in NECC action.
Southern Vermont hit .277 as a team on Saturday with help from a .400 third-set percentage. The Mountaineers edged the Pride in digs by a 41-29 tally while Regis double SVC's team block total (4-2). The Mountaineers racked up 43 kills in the win to RC's 22.
SVC freshman Stewart Ramirez (Los Angeles, California) led all players in the kills column with 14 to go with seven digs and a pair of block assists. Senior Keven Walley (Pico Rivera, California) added 11 kills, eight digs and four assists while classmate Herson Canta (Lagunitas, California) registered a match-best 34 assists. Senior libero Tino Escovedo (Fresno, California) added another three helpers to go with a contest-high 14 digs on the defensive end.
Pride freshman Ryan Husher (Camarillo, California) recorded a team-high 12 kills to go with four digs while sophomore setter Joe Hanrahan (Coventry, Rhode Island) assisted on 14 of the RC kills and popped up four digs of his own. Sophomore libero Sean Bisnett (Oxnard, California) led Regis with 10 digs in the effort.
An SVC service error gave the Pride an early 3-2 lead in the opening set, but Southern Vermont then went on an 8-1 run, highlighted by three Ramirez kills, to go up by a handful. The cushion wouldn't stand for long, however, as Southern Vermont mishaps gave way for a 7-1 Pride run that tied the game at 11-11. The two sides battled back-and-forth through the remainder of the set with neither team going up by more than two until an RC hitting error put the Mountaineers on top 22-19. Not to be deterred, Regis came back with three straight points to once again tie things up, but SVC sophomore Elmer Olivares (Miami, Florida) and senior Scott Fitzgerald (Queensbury, New York) put down consecutive kills to make it set point for the Mountaineers. RC freshman Marcos Aguirre (Norwalk, California) landed a kill of his own to make it 24-23 and give his team service, but the following knock from behind the line missed the SVC end of the court for the hosts to take a 1-0 match lead.
In the second frame, Southern Vermont once again took to a quick lead when Fitzgerald and Ramirez each put down a pair of kills to help their team go up 7-3. Three straight RC errors pushed it to a 10-3 upper hand, and the Mountaineers would never lead by less than five the rest of the way. An SVC hitting error made it a 24-19 game, but Walley then made a nice tip over the RC block for the final point and 2-0 match advantage for Southern Vermont.
Regis came out of the break to record the first two points with the help of SVC miscues, but the Mountaineers responded with six unanswered points with help from a pair of Fitzgerald kills. They were unable to run away with the set, however, as RC came back to score four of the next five points to make it a 7-6 frame. Ramirez tallied another kill and subsequently served across an ace before Walley landed a kill for SVC to extend its lead to 13-8, and the Mountaineers then went on a 5-1 run with another two Ramirez kills to open things up to 18-11. Attempting to extend the match, Regis scored five straight points with the last being a Husher kill that closed the gap to 18-16. A Dighton kill helped give Southern Vermont a 20-16 advantage, but Regis answered by scoring four of the next five points, two being on Husher kills, to trim the Mountaineer lead to 21-20. Dighton and Walley tallied back-to-back kills to give the hosts a 23-20 edge before a service error put the ball back in the hands of the Pride. RC could not take advantage, however, recording a service error of its own to make it match point. Regis scored once more on a kill by sophomore Jon Fuentes (Downey, California), but Walley put the contest away with a final slam for the win.
The Mountaineers visit Endicott College on Tuesday at 7 p.m. for a battle of the only two NECC teams undefeated in league play. The Pride are off until March 10 when they travel to EC for a 7 p.m. Conference matchup.