Cambridge, Mass. - September 9, 2017 - The Springfield College women's volleyball team split a pair of matches at the MIT Invitational on Saturday in Rockwell Cage. The Pride was bested by No. 15 La Verne by the scores of 25-17, 25-17, 25-18 before rallying for a 25-16, 20-25, 20-25, 25-17, 25-19 over Geneseo.
With the split, Springfield College is now 7-1 on the year and will now prepare to take on MIT in their New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) opener on Tuesday night at 7 pm.
In the setback to La Verne, Katie vonKampen (South Setauket, N.Y.) had a team-best seven kills at a .312 clip, while both Jen Donnelly (Exeter, R.I.) and Kayleigh Helgesen (Oceanside, Calif.) each had five kills. Anagabrielle Sanchez (Caguas, Puerto Rico) had a match-best 16 digs and Kayley Cimino (Cumberland, Maine) totaled 12 assists and three aces.
Verus Geneseo, Donnelly was sensational, totaling 25 digs and 20 kills, while Hayley Kmetz (Ardsley, N.Y.) chipped in 20 digs and 12 kills of her own. Sanchez registered 24 digs, Bridget Walsh (Garrison, N.Y.) racked up seven blocks, and Cimino was credited with 34 assists and 17 digs.
Leading 9-7 in the first, Springfield blew open the frame with a 12-4 push and cruised to a 25-16 as it totaled 15 kills at a .310 hitting percentage. The second set featured 10 ties, and after a block from vonKampen and Laura Townsend (Willington, Conn.) put the Pride ahead 20-18, the Knights called timeout and rattled off seven unanswered points to take the 25-20 triumph.
Geneseo carried that momentum into the third and surged ahead 17-11, and despite totaling 13 kills at a .333 clip, Springfield could get no closer than four as it dropped its second-straight 25-20 decision.
The Pride's offense started to find its rhythm in the fourth, recording 16 kills, and turned a 12-all game into an 18-14 cushion following a kill from Kmetz. Springfield would not let the Knights get within two and forced a fifth set with a 25-17 victory.
Springfield totaled 10 kills on 25 errorless attempts in the fifth set, hitting .400, and a kill from Donnelly put the Pride ahead 8-6 at the switch. Following a sideout kill from the Knights, Helgesen put a ball away and kickstarted a five-point burst which put the Pride in control, 13-7. Four points later, Helgesen hammered her 10th kill of the match to complete the comeback bid for the Pride.
For her efforts during the weekend, Donnelly was chosen to the All-Tournament Team.