Springfield, Mass. - October 8, 2016 - The Springfield College women's volleyball team defeated both Bard and Amherst on Saturday en route to winning the Tom Hay Invitational in Blake Arena.
The wins boost the Pride's record to 16-3 on the season, and as one of only four teams in the region to be receiving votes in the AVCA National Coaches Poll, have now strung together nine-straight victories.
Anagabrielle Sanchez (Caguas, Puerto Rico) was chosen as the Most Outstanding Player after a dominant weekend as Springfield's libero in which she totaled 67 digs and eight aces. Teammates Hayley Kmetz (Ardsley, N.Y.) and Marnae Mawdsley (Bolton, Conn.) joined Sanchez on the All-Tournament Team.
Springfield will now focus on preparing for New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play as it hosts Mount Holyoke in its regular-season home finale on Tuesday at 7 pm.
Springfield 3, Bard 0 (25-9, 25-11, 25-19)
Lauren Holt (Granby, Conn.) produced seven kills, three blocks, and two aces, while Jennifer Donnelly (Exeter, R.I.) totaled a match-best eight kills at a .636 clip. Marnae Mawdsley (Bolton, Conn.) and Daniela Detore (Lake Grove, N.Y.) combined for 28 assists in leading the Pride to a .394 hitting percentage, its second-best showing of the season. 16 different players saw the court for Springfield in the win, which limited the Raptors to a .012 hitting percentage.
Springfield opened up the match with a 9-2 lead thanks to the strong serving of Hayley Kmetz (Ardsley, N.Y.) and extended its cushion to 17-7 after Kmetz put away a Bard overpass to force the visitors into their second timeout of the morning. The Pride would ease its way to a 25-9 win, using seven aces and hitting .353 as a team in the frame.
The Pride earned a 5-0 lead to begin the second set, only to have the Raptors climb within 9-6. Springfield responded with a 5-1 push, using a pair of kills from Donnelly to double their lead at 14-7. The hosts benefited from seven Bard hitting errors, and combined with a .476 hitting percentage, coasted to a 25-11 win.
Springfield's lineup was filled with first-years in the third and Bard gained an early 8-6 advantage. However, the Pride answered with a 10-3 surge to force the visitors into a timeout after Rebecca Higgins (Orchard Park, N.Y.) converted down the line at 16-11. Bard would get within 21-19, but out of a Springfield timeout, the hosts scored the final four points, with a solo block from Holt serving as the exclamation point on the victory.
Springfield 3, Amherst 1 (21-25-21, 25-18, 25-11)
Anagabrielle Sanchez (Caguas, Puerto Rico) posted 30 digs for the second time this season, Marnae Mawdsley (Bolton, Conn.) handed out a career-high 49 assists in directing five players to double-figure kill totals and Hayley Kmetz (Ardsley, N.Y.) registered a career-high 14 kills in the win over Amherst.
Lauren Holt (Granby, Conn.) added 10 kills and five blocks hitting .409, Jamie Schneck (Livingston, N.J.) recorded a career-high 10 kills, Jennifer Hurwitz (Longmeadow, Mass.) notched 17 digs and 11 kills, and Jennifer Donnelly (Exeter, R.I.) added a double-double of her own with 15 digs and 12 kills.
Springfield dug itself an early 10-5 hole to start the match as its offense struggled to find its rhythm, committing five attack errors. Amherst's offense would dictate the set and the visitors opened up a 16-9 cushion as head coach Moira Long burned her second timeout. Springfield would trail by as much as 22-11, but didn't back down and used a 10-1 push behind the serving of Hurwitz to make it a 23-21 contest. However, the Pride's seventh attack error coupled with Amherst's 17th kill of the set gave the visitors a 25-21 win.
Springfield took control of the second set with a 10-6 lead get things started following a Hannah Lozano (Stockton, Calif.) ace. A crosscourt kill from Kmetz pushed the hosts lead to 15-9, but Amherst would chip away and eventually get within 22-21 after a Pride miscue. A sideout kill from Kmetz gave the Pride the momentum and two Amherst hitting allowed Springfield to take the 25-21 win.
Springfield carried the momentum into the third, surging out to a 7-1 advantage after a huge block from Schneck and Kmetz, but that lead was short lived as Amherst answered with a 6-0 burst of their own. An ace from Daniela Detore (Lake Grove, N.Y.) gave the Pride the jumpstart it needed at 11-9, and Schneck converted in transition to make it an 18-12 ball game as Amherst burned its final timeout. Amherst got no closer than five and Hurwitz's fifth kill of the set sealed the 25-18 win.
Holt seized control of the fourth, hammering out five kills to get things going to give the hosts a 10-5 cushion. The Pride's lead ballooned to 18-10 on a Kmetz kill down the line, and Springfield's offense finished the set with 20 kills at a remarkable .412 hitting percentage to complete the four-set victory.
2016 Tom Hay Invitational All-Tournament Team
Jen Green - Westfield State