CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton University volleyball team picked up its first win of the season in thrilling fashion on Wednesday night, topping Green Mountain College 3-2 in a five-set battle at Glenbrook Gymnasium.
The Spartans (1-9) took set one 25-17 before the Eagles (3-4) bounced back in the second set 25-11 to level the match at 1-1. Castleton took the third set by a narrow margin, 25-23, while the Eagles claimed set four by the same score. Castleton jumped out to an early lead in the final set and never looked back, capping off the match with a 15-4 set-five win.
Alondra Nims racked up a team-leading 12 kills to set a new career high in the match, hitting at a .273 clip. Brianna Hake dished out a career-high 23 assists with 18 digs to notch a double-double, while it was the second time this season Hake has reached the 20-assist plateau. Madison Hamelink and Shannon Manchester added seven kills apiece, with Hamelink swinging at a .200 rate, and Gabrielle Carpenter totaled six kills of her own.
On the defensive side of the ball, Castleton totaled four players with double-digit dig totals, as Hamelink had a game-high 19 digs, while Hake (18), Meghan Zawatsky (16) and Brooke Young (10) joined the club.
Green Mountain's Thunder Williams registered a triple-double in the match, notching 11 kills, 15 assists and 12 digs while leading her team with 15 total points. Sandra Parra had a team-leading 17 digs for the Eagles while three others also reached double-digit dig totals.
The first set was a back-and-forth thriller as the two teams traded points for a majority of the frame, but Castleton went on a 10-0 run to close it out as Zawatsky's services continually pressured the Eagles. The Spartans took the opener 25-17.
After taking an early 6-4 lead in the second set, the Spartans soon saw a lengthy run go against them, as the Eagles rattled off six points in a row to re-take the lead at 10-6. Green Mountain closed out the second set on a 13-2 run, notching a 25-11 win in the stanza.
The third and fourth sets saw the two teams trade blows en route to 25-23 wins for each side, bringing the match to an all-important fifth set to decide a winner. Castleton jumped out to an early lead in the frame before going on a 13-1 run to close out the Eagles for its first win of the campaign.
The Spartans are back on the court on Sunday when they hit the road to take on NVU-Johnson and NVU-Lyndon. Game times are slated for noon and 2 p.m. in Lyndonville.