BENNINGTON, Vt. – After a sluggish first set, Castleton used its service game and offensive attack to defeat Southern Vermont, 3-1 (10-25, 25-9, 25-14, 25-15), Wednesday night in a non-conference collegiate volleyball match at the Mountaineer Athletic Center.
Kimberly Jackson led the Spartans with 13 kills and a .296 hitting percentage, plus she earned four service aces and five digs. Maria Jackson finished with 23 assists and eight digs, and Greta Hoehn collected six service aces as Castleton finished with a season-high 19 aces as a team. Defensively, Shannon Manchester earned four blocks at the net, and Meghan Zawatsky led the backline with 17 digs.
Led by two service aces from Lauren Wilson, Castleton scored the first five points of the third set, and then the Spartans scored five straight points later in the set, including two service aces by Kimberly Jackson, to extend their lead to 14-6. Back-to-back service aces by Zawatsky gave Castleton a double-digit margin, and a kill by Zawatsky closed out the third set in the Spartans' favor.
Castleton scored five of the first six points of the fourth set, but a Spartan attack error allowed Southern Vermont to close to within three at 8-5. The Spartans responded with an 8-2 scoring run, led by Maria Jackson with two service aces and a kill. The Mountaineers scored four straight points to close to within six, but Castleton scored the final four points of the set, featuring three kills by Kimberly Jackson, to clinch the match.
Southern Vermont (0-10) opened the match by scoring eight of the first nine points, but Castleton closed to within four with a modest 5-2 scoring run. The Mountaineers closed out the first set by outscoring the Spartans 14-3, including seven service aces by the home team.
The second set was a complete reversal of the first set, as Castleton scored 12 unanswered points to pull out to a 16-4 lead, led by Kimberly Jackson with four kills and Hoehn with three service aces. A Southern Vermont service error clinched the second set for the Spartans, tying the match at one set apiece.
After making more errors than kills in the first set, Castleton improved its offensive output, posting a .304 hitting percentage in the final three sets. Also, the Spartans made only seven service errors to go along with the 19 aces.
Castleton (2-7) returns to Glenbrook Gym for a tri-match this Saturday, Sept. 23. The Spartans will host Green Mountain College in a non-conference contest at 11 a.m. After the Eagles face Becker College at 1 p.m., Castleton will take on Becker at 3 p.m.