BENNINGTON, Vt. — The Newbury College women's volleyball team returned to their winning ways with a 3-0 shut-out over Southern Vermont College, in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) action, Wednesday evening.
The Nighthawks won the opening set 25-18 before taking the next two by 25-19 and 25-18 margins, respectively.
Southern Vermont (2-15, 1-6 NECC) wraps up the season on Friday when the team holds its Senior Night in conjunction with a 5 p.m. league matchup against Regis College. NC (14-10, 5-2 NECC) is next in action on Saturday, closing out the regular season with a 2 p.m. first serve at Bay Path University.
SVC was led by senior Sheilani Kaleopa (Riverside, Calif.) who tallied seven kills, 10 assists and 10 digs. Freshman Alycia Stevens (Hudson Falls, N.Y.) registered six kills, seven digs and three service aces while junior Brin Goldman (Christiansted, Virgin Islands) added 10 digs, three kills and a pair of aces.
Newbury junior Courtney Banks (Corona, Calif.) had a big night, landing a match-best 18 kills to go with three block assists and eight digs. SophomoreLina Miranda (Brockton, Mass.) followed with eight kills and five digs while classmate Marlen Reynoso (Springdale, Ark.) facilitated the NC offense with 30 assists. Junior Gabby Aldaco (Springdale, Ark.) was huge on the defensive side, leading all players with 17 digs to go with her four kills.
The Nighthawks stormed out to a sizable lead early on with five kills, four from Banks, helping them score nine unanswered points to go up 9-1. Banks then added another two kills before SVC chipped away at the deficit with a 6-2 spurt that got the hosts within six (14-8). Three consecutive Banks kills highlighted NC taking five straight to go up by 11, but the Mountaineers closed the gap with a 6-1 run behind a Goldman kill and a service ace by freshman Lizzy Bench (Saint Petersburg, Fla.). SVC put an end to its own momentum, however, as an attack error finished the set and gave Newbury the match advantage. Banks had eight kills in the frame.
Scoring went back-and-forth to start the second game until the stanza was tied 6-6. That's when NC notched 10 straight points behind Banks' service, Aldaco providing two of the four Nighthawk kills in the stretch. Southern Vermont climbed back with a 6-1 run, Stevens and Bench both recording a kill to help make it a 17-12 NC lead. Stevens would soon-after score three straight, putting down a kill before ripping across two consecutive aces to make it a 20-17 affair. Newbury inched towards the set victory, four of its five final points being kills with the last coming off of Miranda's hand to seal the 25-19 triumph.
Three SVC mishaps gave NC a 4-1 edge in the onset of the third frame, a cushion they wouldn't relinquish until midway through the game. Service was traded until Southern Vermont scored three unanswered points, a Kaleopa kill being the first before a Goldman ace made it 13-11 in favor of the visitors. Stevens and Kaleopa both registered a kill as the Mountaineers fought to make it 16-16, but Newbury then scored five straight points with a Banks kill and four SVC errors to pull ahead. The final four Nighthawk points came via kills, Banks registering a pair to sandwich one from both junior Kataya Sykes (Brockton, Mass.) and Miranda as Newbury closed out the league win.
- Game Story by: Mike Nosek, Sports Information Director - Southern Vermont College