Springfield, Mass. - September 20, 2016 - The Springfield College women's volleyball team put together a strong group performance to sweep Babson College in straight sets in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) showdown in Blake Arena on Tuesday night.
The Pride bested the two-time defending NEWMAC Champion Beavers by the scores of 25-21, 25-20, 25-20 to improve to 8-3, 2-1. The setback drops Babson's record to 6-3, 2-1.
Springfield, which was once again receiving votes in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division III Coaches Poll, was led by Hayley Kmetz's (Ardsley, N.Y.) match-high 13 kills. Lauren Holt (Granby, Conn.) produced eight kills and four blocks while hitting .400, and Marnae Mawdsley (Bolton, Conn.) directed the offense to a .247 hitting percentage as she handed out 29 assists to go along with seven digs. Anagabrielle Sanchez (Caguas, Puerto Rico) led all players with 17 digs.
Babson was limited to a .108 hitting percentage, with Jenny Karnes totaling nine kills in the setback. Abby Beecher racked up 16 digs, and Gizem Yilmax posted a match-best five blocks.
Springfield opened up a 7-3 advantage to begin the match following an ace by Holt and would force the visitors into a timeout at 9-4 after Kmetz hammered a ball in transition down the line. Using nine kills on their first 15 errorless attempts, Springfield extended a 15-7 led when Holt pushed a kill into the back corner for the Pride. Babson, which trailed by as much as nine at 20-11, put together a 7-1 surge, highlighted by a trio of blocks from Elizabeth Cameron and Yilmaz to force Springfield into its final timeout of the set at 21-18. A timely block from Kmetz and Jamie Schneck (Livingston, N.J.) allowed the Pride to sideout,and the hosts held on for a 25-21 first set win. Sanchez was dynamic on defensive for the Pride, racking up an incredible 13 digs.
Springfield gained a 5-2 advantage to start the second when Kmetz muscled a ball through the Babson block in transition. The teams would trade points to be knotted on three occassions, only to have Springfield build a 16-12 cushion following a Babson miscue, forcing the visitors into a timeout. Out of the break, the Beavers put together a 4-1 push, with Karnes putting a ball away down the line to make it a 17-16 contest as the Pride burned a timeout. Springfield's block came alive, with three double blocks, all of which Holt was in on, which gave the hosts a 22-18 lead. A kill from Mawdsley sealed the 25-20 win, as Springfield was able to hold Babson to a .042 hitting percentage in the frame.
The Pride scored the first three points of the third set, with Kmetz firing an ace to force Babson into an early timeout. Babson would regroup with a 7-3 burst to take their first lead of the set, and an ace by Lorraine Mackiewicz at 13-10 made Springfield call for a timeout. The Pride responded back with seven-straight points, using tremendous serving from Haley DeRoche (Haverhill, Mass.) to seize control of the stanza for good. Kmetz put the exclamation point on the victory, chipping a ball off the block for her 13th kill, matching her career best total.
The Pride will continue conference play on Thursday when it heads to Smith College for a 7 pm tilt.