Medford, Mass. - November 11, 2016 - The Springfield College women's volleyball team outlasted Endicott in four sets in the opening round of the 2016 NCAA Division III Championship on Friday afternoon in Cousens Gym on the campus of Tufts University.
The Pride, which won by the set scores of 25-22, 13-25, 25-19, 25-23, improve to 28-5 on the season and advances to Saturday where it will play New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) rival MIT at 1:30 pm. The loss ends Endicott's season with a 22-12 mark.
Kayleigh Helgesen (Oceanside, Calif.) paced the Pride attack with 15 kills at a .300 clip, while Lauren Holt (Granby, Conn.) totaled 13 kills hitting .308. Marnae Mawdsley (Bolton, Conn.) directed Springfield to a .270 team hitting percentage with 49 assists and seven digs and Anagabrielle Sanchez (Caguas, Puerto Rico) registered a match-best 22 digs. Jamie Schneck (Livingstson, N.J.) chipped in four blocks and five kills and Haley DeRoche (Haverhill, Mass.) delivered three service aces.
Endicott's Emman Mancini led all players with 19 kills, while Lauren Sheehan (14 kills), Remi Quesnelle (13 kills), and Tori McIntyre (12 kills) all posted double-digit efforts in the kill column. Setters Mareena Clotfelter and Zoey Gifford combined for 46 assists to lead Endicott to a .287 hitting percentage, and Erika Trudon delivered 17 digs.
Sanchez led the Pride in the early going, providing tough serving to push Springfield ahead, 11-5. The Pride would maintain a 22-16 cushion after Helgesen crushed a swing in system, however, out of a timeout, the Gulls responded with three-straight points, getting a solo block from Mancini to force head coach Moira Long into a timeout. Out of the break, Helgesen sidedout out and a Jennifer Hurwitz (Longmeadow, Mass.) ace would give Springfield breating room a 23-20. Hayley Kmetz (Ardsley, N.Y.) would later seal the opening set after she cracked a ball down the line for 25-22 win. Holt led all players with six kills in the set as Springfield hit at a .300 clip.
Endicott wasted little time grabbing control of the second set and snagged a 12-8 lead following three-straight kills. The Gulls continued to pour on the pressure, benefiting from Springfield hitting just .088 in the set, to produce a set-ending 14-5 run. Endicott hit .350 in the set, totaling 17 kills compared to the Pride's eight.
Clinging to a 12-9 advantage in the third, Springfield scored five-straight points thanks to a trio of aces from DeRoche to balloon its cushion to 17-9. The Gulls closed within 20-15, but the Pride grinded down the stretch to take the 25-19 victory following a big swing from Jennifer Donnelly (Exeter, R.I.) out of the middle.
The fourth set, which featured 18 ties, was an offensive show for both teams, as the squads combined for 39 kills at a .425 clip. After a kill from Holt put the Pride ahead 19-17 and forced Endicott in a timeout, the Gulls responded with three-straight points to regain the lead and make Springfield burn a timeout. Holt sided out and the teams traded the next six points until Helgesen came through with a critical kill in transition for set point. Holt ripped a kill off the block for the victory as Pride finished with 20 kills, hitting .415 in the fourth set, with both Holt and Helgesen contributing five apiece.