BENNINGTON, Vt. – Proving it is one of the top serving teams in the country with 18 aces, the Castleton University volleyball team swept Southern Vermont College, 3-0 (25-23, 25-13, 25-19), Wednesday night in a non-conference match at the Mountaineer Athletic Center.
Cassidy Tedeschi led the Spartans with nine kills, six service aces, and five total blocks. J'Leen Diaz finished with eight kills, four aces, and a team-high 15 digs, while Kimberly Jackson collected six kills, four service aces, and 11 digs, the same number of digs as Castleton libero Lauren Wilson.
Southern Vermont (3-11) started the match strong, eventually opening a 15-7 advantage in the first set. Castleton rallied back, going on an 11-3 scoring run to overtake the Mountaineers, 22-20, before a kill by Sarah Billow tied the opening set at 22-22. Tedeschi earned a kill and a service ace to bring about set point for the Spartans, and a Mountaineer attack error clinched the first set for Castleton.
Castleton put together an 11-4 scoring run early in the second set, led by two kills and three aces from Tedeschi, to open a 14-6 lead, and then a 10-2 Spartan run extended the advantage to 24-9, as Jackson earned two kills and two aces during that stretch. Southern Vermont scored four straight points, but committed an attack error to give Castleton the second set and the 2-0 match lead.
With the third set tied at 7-7, Tedeschi picked up a kill and consecutive service aces to open a four-point advantage for the Spartans. Castleton extended its lead thanks to an 8-1 scoring run, capped by a service ace from Jess Grace that made the score 22-13. Two kills by Brin Goldman allowed the Mountaineers to close to within four at 23-19, but a kill by Tedeschi and a Southern Vermont attack error closed out the set and the match in Castleton's favor.
Tay Phillips led the Mountaineers with nine kills, while Goldman finished with five kills, 15 assists, and 10 digs. Gaby Oropeza led all players with 19 defensive digs.
Castleton (5-5) begins North Atlantic Conference play Saturday, Oct. 1, traveling to Maine to face Maine-Presque Isle at 12 noon and host Husson at 4 p.m.