Worcester, Mass. - October 18, 2016 - The Springfield College women's volleyball team produced 48 kills in just three sets as it earned a hard-fought sweep over WPI on Tuesday evening in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play in Harrington Auditorium.
Springfield, which moved up in this week's AVCA Division III National Poll amongst teams receiving votes, improved to 22-3, 8-1 in conference action with its 15th-straight victory. The loss drops WPI to 17-7, 4-4.
Marnae Mawdsley (Bolton, Conn.) led the Pride offense that featured four players with at least nine kills as she handed out 42 assists. Lauren Holt (Granby, Conn.) paced Springfield's attack with 13 kills at a .346 clip, while Kayleigh Helgesen (Oceanside, Calif.) added 10 kills and a team-best four blocks. Both Hayley Kmetz (Ardsley, N.Y.) and Jennifer Donnelly (Exeter, R.I.) each had nine kills and Anagabrielle Sanchez (Caguas, Puerto Rico) registered 25 digs. Springfield's 48 kills and 70 digs were the most this season in a three-set match.
Springfield opened up a 6-3 lead to begin the match, only to have the hosts rattle off a 12-4 run to force the Pride into a timeout trailing 15-10. Springfield responded with six-straight points out of the break, with Holt producing three kills and a solo block to put the Pride ahead, 16-15. The set would feature 16 ties, the last coming at 26-all before Helgesen hammered back-to-back kills to give Springfield the 28-26 win. Springfield's offense produced 22 kills at a .328 clip in the set, with Holt leading the charge with seven kills and Sanchez recording 11 digs.
With Springfield owning a 14-10 cushion midway through the second set, the visitors put together an 11-4 push to close out the frame with a 25-14 victory. Springfield was able to take advantage of seven Engineer miscues in the burst, and used three aces, including two from Kmetz to take the 2-0 lead in the match.
The Pride opened up a 7-2 lead to start the third thanks to a pair of kills from both Holt and Kmetz, but the visitors answered back with a 6-0 run to force Springfield College head coach Moira Long to burn a timeout trailing 8-7. Springfield would later gain a 14-12 lead on a Kmetz kill down the line and earn a 20-15 cushion off a solo block by Jamie Schneck (Livingston, N.J.). WPI made one final push to get within 24-23, but Holt closed out the sweep with her 13th kill of the evening out of the middle.
The Pride will take part in the New England Challenge this and battle some of the top competition in the region as it faces Tufts, Middlebury, and Williams.