BENNINGTON -- For the third straight year, Southern Vermont College hoisted the New England Collegiate Conference women's volleyball trophy as the Mountaineers defeated Regis College 3-0 Saturday afternoon at the Mountaineer Athletic Center in the conference championship.
In a rematch of the 2012 championship, the top-seeded hosts took the title with game scores of 25-17, 25-15, and 25-18.
The Mountaineers (12-8) now await the NCAA Regional Tournament seeding, taking place this week, to see where they head next weekend.
SVC's offense was led by All-Tournament Most Valuable Player Carrie Baltazar, who put down a match-high nine kills to go along with eight digs and two service aces. Regis (14-17) freshman Kristina del Rey also had nine kills while senior libero Sara Gold had another great performance on the defensive end with 25 digs, helping her to a place on the All-Tournament Team.
Regis started out with high energy, taking a lead early on in the first set. A service error gave the ball back to Southern Vermont, however, and the Mountaineers took advantage as they were able to tie it up. Errors plagued the Pride while SVC limited theirs, en route to a .333 hitting percentage in the set.
The Mountaineers did even better in not hurting themselves in the second set, only recording two attacking errors in the frame.
Regis could not recover from an early 10-4 deficit caused in part by two consecutive service aces from junior Jessica Delgado. SVC continued to share the offense as it won the second set.
Neither team could find an advantage in the third until Mountaineer junior Marissa Flores stepped to the line and served six straight points, including four aces. Sheilani Kaleopa finished the match with the 12th service ace.
Delgado finished with seven kills and seven digs for the Mountaineers and a spot on the All-Tournament Team with teammate and libero Vanessa Ruelas who had 15 digs on the day. Flores finished with seven kills, 16 digs and five aces, and Kaleopa notched 26 assists.
Pride junior Jackie Silver followed del Rey with seven kills to go along with five digs while senior captain Vanessa Noesi put down five kills; Noesi was also named to the All-Tournament Team for her performance over the week. Junior setter Marilia Ramos assisted on 26 of the team's 30 digs.
Rounding out the All-Tournament Team was Newbury College freshman Courtney Banks and Daniel Webster College senior setter Ally Hayden.