Springfield, Mass. - September 27, 2018 - The Springfield College women's volleyball team put together its best offensive showing of the season as it cruised past Union College in straight sets in Blake Arena on Thursday night. Springfield won the non-conference battle by the set scores of 25-18, 25-22, 25-14.
The Pride, which was once again receiving votes in the latest AVCA Division III National Coaches Poll, improved to 14-2 with the victory, while Union dropped to 9-6.
Sara Labadorf (Huntersville, N.C.) led Springfield to its best offensive output of the year as the Pride hit at a .400 clip and the first-year was credited with 40 assists and seven digs. The senior duo of Hayley Kmetz (Ardsley, N.Y.) and Jen Donnelly (Exeter, R.I.) were unstoppable as Kmetz went for 15 kills, hitting .520, to go along with eight digs, while Donnelly turned in a 13-kill, 10-dig performance on a .500 hitting percentage. Ashley Tanner (Manorville, N.Y.) added a team-best 13 digs and a pair of aces, and Camryn Bancroft (Eastport, N.Y.) totaled eight kills and four blocks.
Kmetz ripped a ball down the line to cap off a 7-1 surge by the hosts, which put the Pride on top 10-6 early in the opening set. After a Springfield attack sailed long to pull Union within 15-14, head coach Moira Long burned the first timeout of the evening. Out of the break, Springfield put together a 4-1 burst, with Tanner manufacturing a kill in transition to force the visitors into a timeout. Springfield would pull away with a 25-18 win, with Bancroft converting in the middle for the Pride's 15th kill of the frame.
Union's offense came alive in the second set as it totaled eight kills on 16 errorless attempts to propel themselves to a 16-11 cushion, and the Pride whistled for both of their timeouts in the early going of the frame. Facing an 18-15 hole, Springfield would tie things up on a Tanner ace down the line, and would force the Dutchwomen into a timeout after gaining a 21-19 lead on a huge stuff block from Labadorf and Katie vonKampen (South Setauket, N.Y.). All told, Springfield would close things out with a 10-4 surge to rally for a 25-22 victory. Kmetz was tremendous in the set, totaling seven kills to fueled a Pride offense that racked up 17 kills while hitting .387.
Kmetz bought the Springfield faithful to their feet, finishing off a long rally with a kill to make it a 10-5 score in favor of the Pride before Union would call for timeout at 14-7 following their seventh attack error of the third. The Pride would hold the visitors to a -.048 hitting percentage and hit at a remarkable .423 clip themselves, with Donnelly shouldering the offensive load with six kills as the hosts eased their way to a 25-14 win.
Springfield will now gear up for a showdown with conference-foe Wellesley on Saturday at 1 pm, in a meeting of two teams who are both receiving votes in the national rankings.