JOHNSON, Vt.-The Northern Vermont University-Johnson men's volleyball team fell 3-1 in the second of two matches played at Carter Gym on Sunday afternoon.
It was tight early on between the Mountaineers and the Badgers with the score tied five all. The Mountaineers were able to start pulling away mid-way through the set, leading 10-5. The Badgers then were able to regain their composure and cut into the Mountaineers lead, but they went back on another run, forcing the Badgers to call a timeout. After the timeout, the Mountaineers kept adding onto their lead, putting the Badgers away for good in the first set with a score of 25-17.
The Badgers played with a lot more energy to start off the second set, leading eight to three. The Mountaineers were able to score points of their own, but the momentum was on the Badgers side, extending their lead to eight points before the Mountaineers called a timeout. The Mountaineers were able to regroup and score a couple quick points, trailing 18-13 before the Badgers called a timeout of their own. The mountaineers were able to keep it competitive and continue to cut into the lead, trailing only by two, forcing the Badgers to take another timeout. The Mountaineers eventually tied the set 21-21, then went back and forth, scoring four points each. With the score tied 25-25, the Mountaineers scored two consecutive points, winning the set 27-25.
Despite the Badgers trailing early on in the third set, they were able to score points and remain competitive with the Mountaineers. Midway through, the Mountaineers started pulling away with the score being 12-7, before the Badgers called a timeout. It didn't help, as the Mountaineers kept the momentum rolling extending their lead to nine. The Badgers were able come back and cut their lead down to one, resulting in the Mountaineers to call a timeout, and then scoring two quick points, to make the Badger to take a timeout. Both teams came out of the timeout trading a point, then the Badgers three straight points to tie it 24-24. With the Badgers serving, they scored a point due to a costly error by the Mountaineers, making it 25-24. The Mountaineers responded with two straight points before the Badgers answered back, tying it at 26-26. Each team traded a point and then the Badgers scored two straight points, winning the set 29-27.
In the fourth set, the Mountaineers scored early and often, recording seven points to the Badgers one, forcing the Badgers to use a timeout. They were able to get on a run of their own, scoring seven unanswered points to cut into the deficit by two. The Mountaineers answered back with three straight points, bringing their lead back up to five. After the Badgers answered back with a point of their own, the Mountaineers scored three straight points to force the Badgers to call a timeout. They weren't able to recover after that, losing the set 25-14.
The Badgers were led by Austin Walters (Grantham, NH) who contributed seven kills and ten digs on the evening. Randy Willette (Wolfboro, N.H) and Ryan Willette (Wolfboro, N.H) both earned four kills, while Randy Willette recorded 13 digs and Ryan Willette added 10. Wyatt Moberg (Acton, MA) was impressive adding four kills and nine digs on the eving.
With the loss the Badgers fall to 0-8 on the season. While Southern Vermont College improves to 2-5.
The Badgers are set to host their second tri-match of the season next Saturday, February 16. They will host Southern Vermont College and Nichols College.