Williamstown, Mass. - October 20, 2017 - The Springfield College women's volleyball team dropped a four-set match to host Williams College in the opening match of the New England Challenge in Lasell Gymnasium on Friday night. The Ephs won by the scores of 25-17, 25-27, 25-21, 25-17.
The win moved Williams to 9-10, while Springfield dropped its fourth-consecutive match to fall to 14-9. The Pride entered the match ranked eighth in New England in the first NCAA Division III Regional Rankings of the season.
Jen Donnelly (Exeter, R.I.) had a team-best 12 kills to go along with 13 digs, while Kayleigh Helgesen (Oceanside, Calif.) totaled 10 kills. Anagabrielle Sanchez (Caguas, Puerto Rico) tied match-high honors in digs with 17 and Kayley Cimino (Cumberland, Maine) and Daniela Detore (Lake Grove, N.Y.) each had 15 assists.
Springfield couldn't have asked for a better start to the match, seizing a 7-0 lead following some tough serving by Haley DeRoche (Haverhill, Mass.). A big swing from Donnelly allowed the Pride's lead to grow to 16-8, but the hosts used four aces to key an 8-0 run to knot things up. After an Ephs miscue snapped the burst to give Springfield a 17-16 edge, Williams rattled off nine-unanswered points, thanks to five Springfield attack errors, to rally for the 25-17 win.
Williams kept it rolling with the first five points of the second set before the Pride settled down and used a 12-3 surge to snag a four-point cushion after a stuff by Helgesen and Camryn Bancroft (Eastport, N.Y.). The Ephs would grind their way back into the set, regaining a 21-19 edge, but the Pride benefited from a pair of kills from both Donnelly and Bancroft down the stretch to earn the 27-25 win.
Springfield again dug itself an early deficit in the third, falling behind 5-1 before answering with four of the next five points to draw within one. The Ephs would then score six-unanswered points, all on Springfield errors, to gain some breathing room. Despite the Pride getting within two, Williams hold on for the 25-21 win.
A kill from Cimino brought the Pride within 10-8 in the fourth, but Williams would again use a set-changing run, scoring nine of the next 11 points for a 19-10 cushion. The hosts would close out the fourth set with a 25-17 win as it hit a match-best .241 in the frame.
Springfield will look to bounce back on Saturday when it squares off against a pair of regionally-ranked teams in Middlebury and Tufts, starting at 11 am.