Medford, Mass. - October 19, 2018 - The Springfield College women's volleyball team began the New England Challenge with a three-set loss to Tufts in Cousens Gymnasium on Friday night. The Pride fell by the scores of 25-14, 25-20, 25-12.
Ranked fifth in the initial NCAA Division III New England Regional Rankings and receiving votes in the latest AVCA Division III National Coaches Poll, Springfield dropped its third-consecutive match to fall to 19-5 on the season. The win improved Tufts to 12-8 this year. The Pride's offense continued to struggle, registering a .000 team hitting percentage in the loss, as it totaled 23 kills on the night. Hayley Kmetz (Ardsley, N.Y.) had a team-best eight kills and Sara Labadorf (Huntersville, N.C.) was credited with 18 assists and nine digs.
In the the opening set, a stuff block from Labadorf and Camryn Bancroft (Eastport, N.Y.) tied the score at 12, but Tufts would erupt on a 13-2 burst to cruise to a first-set victory. The Jumbos offense picked up its efficiency late in the set, totaling nine kills in the run to take a 1-0 lead in the match.
Springfield held a 14-13 advantage in the second following a Tufts hitting error, only to have the hosts answer with a 10-4 run to earn a five-point cushion. The Pride made five hitting errors in that span and finished the frame hitting -.102, which allowed the Jumbos to take a 25-20 win.
In the third, Tufts raced out to a 7-2 lead, but a kill from Ashley Tanner (Manorville, N.Y.) pulled the visitors within 9-6. However, Tufts again put together a set-changing surge, rattling off 11 of the next 13 points to have its lead balloon to 20-8. The Jumbos 32nd kill of the evening sealed the 25-12 win and sweep.
Springfield will play two more critical in-region matches on Saturday when they face off with Williams and Middlebury at MIT beginning at 11 am.