Northampton, Mass. - September 22, 2016 - The Springfield College women's volleyball team eased past Smith College on Thursday evening in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) contest. The Pride won by the set scores of 25-20, 25-7, 25-15.
Springfield, which was receiving votes in the latest AVCA Division III National Coaches Poll, improves to 9-3, 3-1 in conference play.
Lauren Holt (Granby, Conn.) was dominant for the Pride as she posted nine kills at a .444 clip and eight blocks, while Jennifer Donnelly (Exeter, R.I.) racked up a match-best 12 kills on a .393 hitting percentage to go along with seven digs. Marnae Mawdsley (Bolton, Conn.) orchestrated Springfield's offense to a .280 hitting percentage as she was credited with 26 assists, seven digs, and three blocks and Anagabrielle Sanchez (Caguas, Puerto Rico) registered a match-high 21 digs. Additionally, Hayley Kmetz (Ardsley, N.Y.) had another strong showing, producing nine digs and seven kills at a .353 clip.
Springfield dug itself an quick 7-3 deficit as it committed three attack errors in the early going, but responded with a 6-1 push to earn its first lead of the match at 9-8. Springfield's lead grew to 17-13 following consecutive Pioneer attack errors, but the hosts managed to keep things close and climbed within one on a pair of occasions. However, thanks to the play of Kmetz and Donnelly, who each had four kills in the frame, Springfield pulled away with a 25-20 set win, with Holt terminating a slide on set point to seal the win.
The Pride wasted little time taking control of the second set, forcing the hosts into a timeout after grabbing a 7-2 lead, thanks to a pair of quick kills from Holt. Springfield maintained it's pressure with a kill in transition by Caroline Losure (Bethlehem, Conn.), giving the visitors a 13-5 advantage. The Pride would eventually close out the frame on a 9-0 run, using a pair of blocks and kills from Holt for the 25-7 win. Springfield's offense had its best showing in the set, totaling 13 kills on 29 errorless attempts for a .448 hitting percentage.
The visiting squad kept things rolling in the third, storming out to a 9-0 lead, getting two blocks and two kills from Holt to fuel the run. 12 different Springfield players saw action the set and never let Smith closer than seven points, as Holt elevated for a solo stuff on the final point of the match.
Springfield will play its third NEWMAC match this week on Saturday when it hosts Emerson in Blake Arena at 1 pm.