BENNINGTON, Vt. — The Southern Vermont College women's volleyball team concluded its 2015 season Friday evening, falling 3-0 to visiting Regis College in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) action at the Mountaineer Athletic Center.
Prior to the start of the match, SVC honored its lone senior in setter Sheilani Kaleopa (Riverside, Calif.) for her hard work and dedication to the program over the last four years.
The Pride won the first two sets, both by 25-18 margins, before topping Southern Vermont 25-15 in the third for the sweep. RC has now won 20 straight regular season NECC matches dating back to the 2013 campaign, claiming its second consecutive regular season title with another undefeated Conference schedule.
Regis (20-10, 8-0 NECC) will host the league's semifinal and championship rounds next Friday, November 6 and Saturday, November 7, respectively, for the second straight year as the Pride look to defend their tournament title. RC's opponent for the semis will be determined by Tuesday's first round matchups.
Southern Vermont (2-16, 1-7 NECC) was led by freshman Alycia Stevens (Hudson Falls, N.Y.) who put down four kills while adding seven digs and two service aces to her line. Classmate Lizzy Bench (Saint Petersburg, Fla.) and junior captain Brin Goldman (Christiansted, Virgin Islands) both had three kills, Bench also notching three digs as Goldman had eight digs and three aces in the effort. Kaleopa tied the night-high of 11 digs and recorded 10 assists and three service aces in her last match as a Mountaineer. Freshman Kristy Goldup (Schuylerville, N.Y.) tallied five digs on the defensive side while classmate Hailee Walker (Cohoes, N.Y.) chipped in with another three.
Kaleopa finishes her career with 1,278 assists, ranking third on the all-time SVC record list. She also put herself at third on the all-time career service aces chart, totaling 161 in her four years. The captain additionally recorded 458 digs and 123 kills in a Southern Vermont uniform.
Pride sophomore Sydney Trusty (Durham, Conn.) registered a match-best nine digs in the win, being followed by freshman Rachel Bartels (Edinburg, Texas) who had eight. Sophomore Nicole Connolly (San Mateo, Calif.) tied Kaleopa's mark of 11 digs while adding six assists, five kills and three aces on the night. Sophomores Haley Schulte (Fullerton, Calif.) and Crystina Lathrop (Houston, Texas) paired up in setting the Regis attack, popping up 14 and 10 assists, respectively.
Neither team led by more than one in the early going until Regis went on a solid run. A Trusty kill was followed by Connolly serving up an ace for the Pride to score three unanswered, and they then grabbed five straight after an RC attack error to go up 13-6. Schulte added a kill in that spurt while sophomore Emily DeBarros (Brockton, Mass.) put down two consecutively for the comfortable lead. Stevens had an ace and an ensuing kill to help SVC take the next three, only to see Regis score four of the next five behind three Bartels kills. RC went on a 5-1 run late in the frame with a pair of aces to make it set point, but Southern Vermont pushed to close the gap with four straight scores on a Goldman kill and a Bench ace. The Mountaineer momentum would come to an end, however, as DeBarros landed her fourth kill of the game to take it 25-18.
SVC grabbed a 6-4 lead to start the second stanza, five of the hosts' points coming from Regis mishaps. Schulte then landed a kill before serving for the next seven points, two of those coming on aces straight off her hand. Southern Vermont cut it to three (13-10) with a 4-1 run, but the Pride extended its lead by taking six of the next seven; Bartels recorded three kills in that stretch while DeBarros added another. Scoring went back-and-forth before Trusty and Connolly teamed up for consecutive kills to take a 23-14 advantage. The Mountaineers won four straight with a pair of Goldman aces, but RC closed it out with a kill from both Trusty and lastly sophomore Courtney Mosher (Taunton, Mass.) for the 2-0 upper hand in the match.
A Bartels kill was followed by two consecutive from Shulte, and another two Regis kills then made it a 6-3 Pride lead to start the third. RC went in front by 11 with a 12-2 run aided by five kills, three Pride players landing one each before DeBarros had two late in the surge for the sizable cushion. Southern Vermont took three straight, all coming from RC errors, before Regis took the next two for the 22-11 lead. A Pride attack error gave service back to SVC, fittingly allowing Kaleopa to go behind the back line once more as a Mountaineer. She ripped across two straight aces, only to see Trusty land a kill to make it 23-14. Trusty would then end the night with a final kill, her ninth of the contest sealing Regis' unbeaten league schedule.