Cambridge, Mass. - September 12, 2017 - The Springfield College women's volleyball team was bested in its New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) opener against nationally-ranked MIT at Rockwell Cage on Tuesday night. The 20th-ranked Engineers won by the set scores of 25-16, 25-19, 23-25, 25-14.
The win boosted MIT's record to 9-0, 1-0 in conference play, while the Pride, which was also receiving votes in this week's AVCA Division III National Coaches Poll, fell to 7-2, 0-1.
Jen Donnelly (Exeter, R.I.) was credited with a match-high 16 digs to go along with a team-best 13 kills, while Hayley Kmetz (Ardsley, N.Y.) added nine kills of her own. Anagabrielle Sanchez (Caguas, Puerto Rico), who has named the NEWMAC Defensive Player of the Week the past two weeks, totaled 14 digs, and the setting duo of Daniela Detore (Lake Grove, N.Y.) and Kayley Cimino (Cumberland, Maine) combined for 34 assists and four service aces.
MIT was paced by Abby Bertics, who put up an impressive showing on the pin with 25 kills coming at a .300 clip. Alli Davanzo added 11 kills, hitting .526, and Carly Silvernale posted a team-best 15 digs. The Engineers outhit Springfield on the night, .262 to .163, with Andie Maloney leading the charge with 44 assists, seven digs, and five blocks.
Even at six-all in the opening frame, MIT put together a 9-2 burst thanks to five kills from Bertics, en route to a commanding 15-8 cushion. The Pride would get as close as 21-15 on a Detore ace, but the Engineers would ride eight first-set kills by Bertics and snag the opening set, 25-16.
Knotted at seven apiece in the second set, Springfield committed three-straight attack errors to give the hosts some early breathing room. After a kill from Bridget Walsh (Garrison, N.Y.) drew the Pride within 11-10, the Engineers put together a 5-1 burst to open up a 16-11 edge, before eventually taking the set, 25-19 as the Pride hit just .034.
It was Springfield that used a set-changing run to seize the third set, as a 13-12 deficit turned into a 19-13 advantage following a Cimino ace. MIT would not go away quietly, battling within 23-22 before Katie vonKampen (South Setauket, N.Y.) registered her fifth and sixth kills of the stanza to give the Pride a 25-23 win.
The Pride's offense was tremendous to start the third, pounding out eight kills on 13 errorless attempts as a team after Donnelly ripped a kill to gridlock the set at eight. However, MIT turned on a 10-2 run and never looked back as it took the fourth and final set, 25-14
Springfield will hit the road for an out-of-region showdown at Union College on Thursday. First serve is scheduled for 7 pm.