Cambridge, Mass. - October 20, 2018 - The Springfield College women's volleyball team split a pair of matches in the New England Challenge on Saturday, which was hosted at MIT. The Pride opened the day with a four-set victory over Williams before falling in five sets to Middlebury.
Ranked fifth in this week's NCAA Division III New England Regional Rankings and receiving votes in the latest AVCA Division III National Coaches Poll, Springfield snapped its three-game slide and now stands at 20-6 this year. For her efforts over the weekend, Jen Donnelly (Exeter, R.I) was named to the All-Tournament Team.
Springfield will return to New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play on Tuesday when it travels to face Wheaton for a 7 pm match.
Springfield 3, Williams 1 (25-22, 23-25, 25-20, 25-21)
The Springfield College women's volleyball team bested Williams College in a four-set clash in their first match of the day on Saturday. Jen Donnelly (Exeter, R.I) led the Pride's offense with 12 kills to go along with 19 digs and four blocks. Hayley Kmetz (Ardsley, N.Y.) totaled 11 kills and 11 digs in the contest while Camryn Bancroft (Eastport, N.Y.) added 10 kills at a .333 clip. Katie vonKampen (South Setauket, N.Y.) contributed seven kills, hitting at a .350 percentage, and led the Pride with six blocks, and Ashley Tanner, (Manorville, N.Y.) added eight kills of her own. Briana Tovar (Tuscon, Ariz.) tallied 14 digs as the Pride limited the Ephs to a .137 team hitting percentage. Sara Labadorf (Huntersville, N.C.) dished out 38 assists for the Pride as they battled their way to their 20th victory of the season.
In a back and fourth first set, Williams would take a 22-21 lead on an ace, only to have Springfield score the last four points of the set, highlighted by a pair of kills from Tanner, to take a 25-22 win.
Springfield held a 17-13 lead in the second set, after a block from vonKampen and Donnelly, but Williams would answer back with a 7-2 run to take a lead that they would never relinquish.
Even at five in the third, Springfield put together a 12-4 surge that was capped off by a huge block from Donnelly and vonKampen to open up a 17-9 edge. Williams would get as close as 22-19, but two Ephs miscues gave the Pride set point, and vonKampen put away the Pride's ninth kill of the set for the 25-20 win.
After Williams jumped out to an early 3-1 lead in the fourth, Springfield would respond with kills by Donnelly and Bancroft, before the duo teamed up for a block to fuel a 10-3 burst which put the Pride ahead, 11-6. Tanner would seal the win with a kill for the 25-21 victory as the Pride's offense totaled 15 kills at a .300 clip in the final stanza.
Middlebury 3, Springfield 2 (21-25, 25-15, 25-16, 20-25, 15-5)
In their final match of the weekend, Springfield was unable to complete its comeback as it fell in five sets to Middlebury. Jen Donnelly (Exeter, R.I.) had 16 kills and 12 digs and teammate Camryn Bancroft (Eastport, N.Y.) totaled 12 digs. Sara Labadorf (Huntersville, N.C.) handed out 40 assists and Briana Tovar (Tucson, Ariz.) chipped in 12 digs. Middlebury held a 70-53 edge in kills for the match and hit at a .361 clip, the highest hitting percentage of a Springfield opponent this season.
After falling behind 5-1 to start the match, Springfield's offense found its rhythm with a 16-6 surge and use a block from Labadorf and Bancroft to take a 17-11 lead. Despite a late push from the Panthers, Springfield would hold on for the 25-21 win in a frame where they totaled 15 kills.
Tied at five in the second set, Middlebury broke open the stanza with a 15-4 burst and tied the match up at a set apiece with a 25-15 victory. The Panthers offense was sensational, totaling 19 kills at a .500 clip.
In the third, Bancroft and Tanner combined for a block to put Springfield ahead, 11-10. However, Middlebury would go on to score 15 of the final 20 points of the set, using tough serving and scoring five-consecutive points midway through the frame to win 25-16.
It was Springfield that put together the impressive run in the fourth, rallying from a 13-9 deficit with a 11-2 surge that was capped off by a swing from Tanner. The Pride posted 15 kills at an impressive .452 hitting percentage and forced the decisive fifth set following an ace by Tanner.
Middlebury surged out to an 11-3 lead in the fifth in a set where the Pride committed eight attack errors en route to a -.222 hitting percentage, while the Panthers were nearly flawless, racking up seven kills on 11 errorless attempts to take a 15-5 win.