Southern Vermont Secures First-round Home Playoff Match with 3-0 Sweep at Bay Path

Southern Vermont Secures First-round Home Playoff Match with 3-0 Sweep at Bay Path

LONGMEADOW, Mass. – Southern Vermont College is going to host a round of the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) women's volleyball postseason tournament for the first time since 2013 as the Mountaineers secured a home playoff match with a 3-0 sweep at Bay Path University Thursday night.

The first-round tilt will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 31 with the Mountaineers' opponent to be announced.

SVC took Thursday's league contest with straight-set scores of 25-17, 25-19, and 25-19.

Southern Vermont improves to 3-3 in Conference action (7-18 overall) as the squad registers its most overall, and NECC, wins since 2014.

The Mountaineers conclude the 2017 regular season campaign on Saturday when they host Dean College for SVC's Senior Day at the Mountaineer Athletic Center; the ceremony will begin around 5:15 p.m. prior to the 5:30 p.m. NECC start against the Bulldogs.

Freshman Nikki Ramirez (West Covina, Calif.) led all players with a night-high 14 kills for the visitors, and she added six digs and six aces to her line. Junior captain Liv Sowles (West Covina, Calif.) followed with 12 kills and another six digs while junior libero Heidy Benitez (Tulare, Calif.) popped up a contest-high 11 digs. Sophomore setter Abigail Landon (South Glens Falls, N.Y.) facilitated the Mountaineer offense as she assisted on 26 of the 29 SVC kills.

Ramirez notched a pair of aces while Sowles had two kills for Southern Vermont to take an early 5-1 lead in the first set. The Mountaineers doubled their advantage with a 7-3 run midway through the game as sophomore Sarah Billow (South Glens Falls, N.Y.) tacked up back-to-back aces. After SVC won four-of-five, with a pair of Ramirez kills, BPU tallied three straight to make it 24-17. A Wildcat error, however, ended the hosts' run and gave the visitors the 1-0 edge in the match.

A strong start to the second saw SVC take a lead which the Mountaineers would never relinquish; Sowles notched a pair of kills while Ramirez had a kill and an ace to help make it a 9-2 upper hand in the front-end of the stanza. Southern Vermont would go on top 16-7 with a Landon ace before the Mountaineers went on a 5-1 spurt behind three-straight Ramirez aces. The Wildcats came back with six in-a-row to get within three (20-17), but SVC was able to see the rest of the set go back-and-forth before a Ramirez kill ended the frame.

Bay Path took went on top quickly in the third and eventually found itself up 17-15 midway through the set in an attempt to extend the match. SVC would seize the momentum at that point, however, and the visitors would take 10 of the last 12 to win the match; Ramirez had three kills during a 5-0 run in that stretch, and three Mountaineers then teamed up for consecutive kills for Southern Vermont to close out the victory.