Worcester, Mass. - September 18, 2018 - The Springfield College women's volleyball team pulled away with a five-set victory over Clark in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) on Tuesday night. The Pride won by the scores of 25-21, 24-26, 25-21, 23-25, 15-12.
With the win, Springfield improves to 10-0, 3-0 in conference play and is off to its best start since 2013, when the Pride also won the first 10 matches of the season. Springfield, which was one of four schools from the NEWMAC to receive votes in the AVCA Division III National Coaches Poll, dropped Clark to 4-6, 0-3.
Sara Labadorf (Huntersville, N.C.) directed Springfield's offense as she totaled career-high marks in assists (59), digs (13), and aces (5). Camryn Bancroft (Eastport, N.Y.) also delivered one of the best matches of her young career, totaling a career-high 16 kills at a .303 clip. Jen Donnelly (Exeter, R.I.) collected 12 digs and 11 kills, Briana Tovar (Tucson, Ariz.) was credited with a team-best 16 digs, and Katie vonKampen (South Setauket, N.Y.) was dominant at the net with nine kills and six blocks.
In the opening set, Clark jumped out to a 15-10 lead, but Springfield would respond with a 12-5 push, capped off by a Labadorf ace, to gain a 22-17 lead. Springfield would take the frame 25-21 as Bancroft put together a great showing in the middle, delivering seven of the Pride's 16 kills.
Clark jumped out to a 19-14 lead in the second, forcing the Pride into its second time of the set. However, out of the break, Bancroft ripped three kills as part of a 6-0 surge which put the Pride on top for the first time since 8-7. An ace from Bancroft would give Springfield set point, but Clark would use a sideout kill and benefit from a pair of Springfield errors to take the 26-24 win.
Even at 20-all in the third, Springfield scored four-straight points, with a kill from Kayley Cimino (Cumberland, Maine) allowing Springfield to earn set point. Two points later, Bancroft elevated for the solo stuff, allowing the Pride to earn the 25-21 victory.
Seemingly in control of the fourth with a 21-18 lead following a kill by vonKampen, Springfield allowed Clark to go on a 7-2 burst to force a fifth set as the Cougars won the stanza, 25-23. Four of Clark's points in the run came on Springfield errors as the visitors were limited to jut a .065 hitting percentage.
A roll shot from Donnelly finished off four-straight points as the Pride raced out to a 6-2 lead in the fifth. Clark would battle back though, evening the set at 10-all and forcing Springfield into their final timeout. The teams would trade kills before a Cougar error and emphatic kill from Donnelly following a long rally gave Springfield some breathing room at 13-11. Springfield would then use kills from Donnelly and vonKampen to complete the five-set win at 15-12.
Springfield will compete out of region this weekend when it travels to New Jersey where it will face Catholic, Moravian, Cabrini, and host Stockton in the Osprey Classic beginning on Friday evening.