Southern Vermont Tops SUNY Delhi 3-1 in Non-conference Action

Southern Vermont Tops SUNY Delhi 3-1 in Non-conference Action

DELHI, N.Y. – Southern Vermont College took to the road Wednesday night and defeated SUNY Delhi 3-1 in non-conference women's volleyball action at Floyd L. Maines Arena.

The Mountaineers grabbed the first set by a 25-21 clip before the hosts answered to tie the match with a 25-19 win in the second. SVC responded with a 25-19 victory of its own in the third game, and the visitors then came back from being down by eight in the fourth to top the Broncos 25-22 and close out the night.

Next up for the Mountaineers (3-16) is a New England Collegiate Conference road match against Newbury College on Saturday with first serve slated for 1 p.m. at Hellenic College.

Southern Vermont junior captain Liv Sowles (Sacramento, Calif.) had an outstanding night on the attack as she tallied a match-high 18 kills while not having a single error on 44 attempts for a .409 hitting percentage; she also recorded seven digs, five aces, and five total blocks. Classmate Heidy Benitez (Tulare, Calif.) chalked up 21 digs on the Mountaineers' defensive end through the night.

SVC freshman Nikki Ramirez (West Covina, Calif.) was right behind Sowles in the kills column with 14 of her own, and she also added eight digs and four service aces to her line. Sophomore setter Abigail Landon (South Glens Falls, N.Y.) assisted on 32 of the team's 35 kills, and she also popped up six digs in the win.

The Mountaineer offense came out clicking as the visitors landed kills for the first four points of the night—Ramirez notching two while Bennington College freshman Kemly Derby (New York City, N.Y.) and Sowles each had one. Delhi came back to tie it up, but Southern Vermont then used a 13-2 surge to take an 11-point lead; Sowles registered five aces and a kill in that stretch as the Mountaineers rattled off nine straight at one point. The Broncos would slowly chip away at their deficit late in the game—first with a 6-1 run and then by taking five of six to force a timeout with SVC up by just three. Southern Vermont came out of the stoppage and closed it, however, out as Sowles and Ramirez put down back-to-back kills to end the frame.

SVC took a slim edge to start the second set before a Sowles ace made it a 9-5 Mountaineer advantage. Delhi would turn the tables at that point, however, as the hosts took to a 12-1 run to pull ahead by a comfortable margin. Southern Vermont cut it down to a three-point difference with a 5-0 spurt highlighted by a pair of Sowles kills and two aces from sophomore Sarah Billow (South Glens Falls, N.Y.), but the Broncos closed it out by taking four of the last five to tie the night at one set apiece.

Neither side led by more than two in the third stanza before three-straight Mountaineer points started a 6-1 run which put the visitors up by five (13-8); Ramirez recorded two aces to end that spurt after she started it with back-to-back kills. Delhi came out of its timeout with three consecutive points—only to see SVC respond with five of the next six thanks to three Sowles kills which put her team up 18-12. Points were traded as Southern Vermont inched closer to 25, and, with the score sitting at 24-19, Sowles knocked down her 10th kill of the night to put SVC one set away from the victory.

A Ramirez kill was followed by two Bronco mishaps for the Mountaineers to go on top 4-3 in the onset of the fourth, but Delhi came back with nine unanswered to take the upper hand. SVC chopped its deficit in half with a 5-1 run, and scoring went back-and-forth through the midpoint of the game before a Sowles kill made it a 19-16 Bronco lead. Southern Vermont would seize the momentum shortly after and sandwich a Delhi timeout with seven unanswered points—forcing a second stoppage by the hosts; Sowles notched another three kills in that time to help her team go in front 23-20. The captain would land one last kill after play resumed, and Ramirez then put down the final point of the night off a Landon set for SVC to finish off the win.