New London, Conn. - September 25, 2018 - For the second time in as many conference matches, the Springfield College women's volleyball team prevailed in five sets as it topped Coast Guard in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play on Tuesday night. Set scores in favor of the Pride were 19-25, 25-21, 25-11, 22-25, 15-12.
The Pride, which was once again receiving votes in the latest AVCA Division III National Coaches Poll, improves to 13-2, 4-0 in conference play.
Jen Donnelly (Exeter, R.I.) led all players with 17 kills to go along with 11 digs, while classmate Hayley Kmetz (Ardsley, N.Y.) added 11 kills at a .310 clip. Ashley Tanner (Manorville, N.Y.) totaled 11 digs and a career-high 10 kills and Camryn Bancroft (Eastport, N.Y.) and Katie vonKampen (South Setauket, N.Y.) combined for 15 kills and eight blocks in the middle. Hannah Lozano (Stockton, Calif.) was credited with a season-best 21 digs and Sara Labadorf (Huntersville, N.C.) notched 48 assists, eight digs, and four service aces. The Pride hit .227 on the night and limited Coast Guard to a .151 hitting percentage.
After Donnelly put away an overpass kill to even things at four in the first set, the Bears responded with a 4-1 push to take an 8-5 cushion following back-to-back Springfield attack errors. Springfield would respond to take a 10-9 edge and force the hosts into a timeout, only to have Coast Guard produce an 9-3 surge to gain a 18-13 advantage. Springfield would get as close as 19-17 following a big swing from Tanner, but the hosts pulled away for a 25-19 win, capped off by their third ace of the evening.
Springfield reeled off a 5-0 push to open up a 7-3 lead in the second thanks to four-straight Coast Guard miscues. The lead would grow to 17-7 after a kill from Donnelly before a 8-0 burst by the Bears forced Springfield into a pair of timeouts with the advantage trimmed to just two. The Pride would regain a 20-16 lead after consecutive Coast Guard errors and take the 25-22 win on a service error by the hosts.
Donnelly blistered a ball in transition to give Springfield an early 4-1 lead in the third, a cushion that would balloon to 15-8 after Donnelly ripped back-to-back kills as Coast Guard burned a timeout. Out of the timeout, Springfield would close out the frame on a 10-3 run as it hit at a .435 clip en route to the 25-11 victory.
The Pride fell behind 11-9 in the fourth and wasted little time calling a timeout. After a service error on the ensuing point, Coast Guard poured on five-straight points to have its lead grow to 16-10 as Springfield's offense was unable to find its rhythm. Facing a 19-12 hole, the Pride leaned on its upperclassmen and made it a 21-20 game as kills from Donnelly, vonKampen, and Kmetz ignited the visitors and forced the Bears into a timeout. However, the hosts regrouped in the break to force a fifth set with a 25-22 victory.
In the fifth, Springfield took an 8-5 lead at the switch after three-straight Bears errors, before a Pride service error and Coast Guard ace made it a one-point game as visitors called for timeout. Donnelly sided out down the line and the Pride would gain an 12-8 edge when Labadorf ripped consecutive aces. The hosts would storm back to make it a 12-11 game, but vonKampen found the back corner in transition and Donnelly's serve clipped the tape for an ace and match point. Two points later, Kmetz smashed a cross court kill to seal the win as the Pride totaled eight kills at a .500 clip in the final set.
Springfield will return to Blake Arena on Thursday when it clashes with Union for a non-conference tilt at 7 pm.