Springfield, Mass. - September 1, 2018 - The Springfield College women's volleyball team pushed their record to 4-0 with wins over Skidmore and Rhode Island College on Saturday en route to capturing the Springfield College Invitational.
The Pride was paced by the efforts of Camryn Bancroft (Eastport, N.Y.), who was tabbed the Most Outstanding Player of the Invitational, while teammate Sara Labadorf (Huntersville, N.C.) joined her on the all-tournament team. Additional representatives on the all-tournament team include Lawrence's Ariana Newmeyer, Westfield State's Briane Starkey, Endicott's Emma Mancini, Skidmore's Allie Dillon, and RIC's Janaea Evans.
Springfield will not play again until Friday evening when it travels to compete against Morrisville State in the MIT Invitational.
Springfield 3, Skidmore 1 (23-25, 25-22, 27-25, 25-19)
Tested for the first time in the early stages of its season, the Springfield College women's volleyball team bounced back from dropping the opening set to defeat Skidmore in four sets on Saturday morning. Camryn Bancroft (Eastport, N.Y.) led the Pride with 14 kills at a .343 clip to go along with three blocks, while Jen Donnelly (Exeter, R.I.) delivered 20 digs and 11 kills. Three rookies were outstanding in the victory as Sara Labadorf (Huntersville, N.C.) handed out a career-best 50 assists and posted a match-best three aces, Briana Tovar (Tucson, Ariz.) tallied a team-best 21 digs, and Gabrielle Bradley (Fairfax, Va.) came off the bench to hammer 10 kills while hitting .368.
After Springfield stormed out to a 5-1 lead to start the game, the visitors pulled within 14-12, only to have the Pride rattle off three-straight points to force Skidmore into a timeout. Springfield would push its lead to 20-15 on a big swing from Walsh, but Skidmore would respond with eight-straight points to surge ahead, 23-20. The Pride would battle back to within 24-23 when Donnelly chipped a kill off the block, however Skidmore would escape with a 25-23 win after a ball handling error by the hosts.
Springfield regrouped and earned an 8-3 lead to start the second set following an ace by Labadorf. A backrow kill from Ashley Tanner (Manorville, N.Y.) pushed the Pride's advantage to 15-9, before a 9-2 burst by the Thoroughbreads put Springfield in an 18-17 deficit. Springfield responded with four-straight points, as a kill down the line by Bradley put the Pride in control at 22-18. Springfield would eventually tie the match up at a set apiece as Bancroft's sixth kill of the morning made it a 25-22 victory.
In a frame that featured 12 ties and six lead changes, Skidmore would earn some breating room with a 23-20 cushion following a Pride attack error. However, Springfield would use a 4-1 run to even things up, and later benefit from a huge stuff by Bancroft and Katie vonKampen (South Setauket, N.Y.) and another Bancroft kill to rally for the 27-25 win. Bradley proved to be the difference in the set, as she registered five kills on six errorless attempts.
Trailing 9-7 in the fourth, Springfield ripped off five-straight points as Bancroft finished off a long rally with a kill in the middle to force Skidmore into a timeout at 12-9. The Pride's lead ballooned to as many as nine points before Bradley's 10th kill of the day sealed the win.
Springfield 3, Rhode Island College 0 (25-21, 25-10, 25-15)
Bancroft was dominant in the middle for Springfield as it eased its way to a straight-set victory over Rhode Island College, marking its third sweep of the early going in the 2018 campaign. The sophomore middle totaled 12 kills, hitting .440, and tacked on a match-best five blocks. Bradley added six kills, Labadorf dished out 24 assists, and Tovar recorded a match-high 18 digs.
Using a balanced attack, Rhode Island College seized an early 12-8 lead in the opening set, but Bancroft would combine with Donnelly and Labadorf to deliver back-to-back blocks to put Springfield back on top, 15-14. The Pride would later use four-straight points to build a 19-17 edge, with a Donnelly kill off the block forcing the visitors into a timeout. The set would be tied one final time at 20-all after a RIC service ace, but Springfield scored five of the final six points of the set, getting a huge swing from Bancroft to seal the 25-21 win.
With the score 7-6 in favor of the Pride, the hosts manufactured a remarkable 11-0 surge to open up a 18-6 edge as both Bradley and Bancroft had three kills to power the run. Springfield hit .462 in the stanza en route to a 25-10 win as Bancroft finished with seven kills on 13 errorless attempts.
Seven different players recorded at least one kill in the third and Springfield jumped out to a 9-2 lead and never looked back. The hosts lead by as many as 13 points in the game and would complete the sweep on a service error by RIC.