Springfield, Mass. - September 19, 2017 - The Springfield College women's volleyball team battled to a straight-set victory over Clark University in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play on Tuesday in Blake Arena. In a rematch of last year's NEWMAC Championship Semifinal, the Pride toughed out a 25-22, 25-22, 25-18 victory.
Springfield improved to 10-2, 2-1 in the win, while the Cougars slipped below .500 to 5-6, 1-2.
Jen Donnelly (Exeter, R.I.) led Springfield's offense as she totaled 12 kills, while Hannah Andres (Barnstable, Mass.) contributed seven kills at a .333 clip. Kayley Cimino (Cumberland, Maine) and Daniela Detore (Lake Grove, N.Y.) directed Springfield's attack to a .288 hitting percentage as they combined for 34 assists, and both Donnelly and Hannah Lozano (Stockton, Calif.) registered three aces apiece. Defensively, Anagabrielle Sanchez (Caguas, Puerto Rico) was credited with a match-high 21 digs and Bridget Walsh (Garrison, N.Y.) posted five blocks.
After the Pride found itself down 6-4, the hosts stormed back with six unanswered points, capped off by an ace by Donnelly. Clark would burn its first timeout of the match when Kayleigh Helgesen (Oceanside, Calif.) ripped a ball in transition at 16-13, only to battle back to take a 21-19 lead after producing a 5-0 burst of its own. Coming out of their second timeout of the frame, Springfield used a sideout kill from Detore and two-straight aces by Lozano to go back on top. The Pride would earn set point when Donnelly blasted a ball down the line and eventually completed the comeback on a Clark service error.
Springfield would take its first lead of the second set when Walsh closed for a solo stuff at 10-9, and after seven ties, the Pride earned an 18-16 edge after Andres pushed a kill through the Clark block. The Cougars answered right back with a 6-2 run and owned a 22-20 following a Pride service miscue. However, Springfield put together a 4-0 burst, highlighted by a block and kill from Katie vonKampen (South Setauket, N.Y.) to earn set point. Donnelly sealed the win with her sixth kill of the frame as Springfield took a 2-0 lead in the match.
Clark jumped out to a 6-4 advantage in the third frame, only to have the Pride manufacture a 10-4 surge, using a big swing from Helgesen to force the visitors into a timeout trailing 14-10. The Cougars never got closer than three as Springfield used a balanced attack that featured five players with at least two kills en route to the 25-18 win.
Springfield will not play again until next Tuesday when it wraps up its three-match conference homestand versus Coast Guard at 7 pm.