Providence, R.I. - November 9, 2018 - The Springfield College women's volleyball team cruised past Maine Maritime in straight sets in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Women's Volleyball Championship at Johnson & Wales University on Friday afternoon. The Pride won by the set scores of 25-15, 25-14, 25-19.
The Pride, which was playing in the national tournament for the ninth time in the last 10 seasons, improved to 24-7. Third-seeded Springfield advances to the Saturday's second round, where it will battle second-seeded Wesleyan at 2:30 pm. Maine Maritime's season comes to a close with a 23-7 record.
Jen Donnelly (Exeter, R.I.) was tremendous in her homecoming as the Rhode Island native totaled a match-high 12 kills at a .476 clip to go along with five digs and three blocks. Katie vonKampen (South Setauket, N.Y.) added seven kills, hitting .417, and racked up a match-best four blocks. Ashley Tanner (Manorville, N.Y.) was outstanding from the end line, ripping a career-high six aces, while classmate Sara Labadorf (Huntersville, N.C.) was credited with 24 assists, eight digs, and three aces in leading the Pride to a .315 team hitting percentage. The Pride limited Maine Maritime to a .000 hitting percentage in the match.
Even at 8-8 in the first set, Springfield manufactured a 6-1 surge, highlighted by a pair of kills from Donnelly, to seize a 14-9 edge. The Pride's advantage would grow to 20-13 after Demi Spanos (West Harrison, N.Y.) delivered Springfield's first ace of the day before Tanner closed out the frame with a great showing from the end line, ripping a pair of aces, including the set clinching point, to complete a 25-15 win. Springfield hit at a .455 clip in the opener, with Donnelly accounting for five of the Pride's 12 kills.
Tanner and Camryn Bancroft (Eastport, N.Y.) combined for a stuff block which allowed Springfield to jump out to an 8-2 cushion in the second set, only to have Tanner register three-straight aces to make it a 13-4 contest. The Pride's advantage would balloon to 23-9 after two-straight aces by vonKampen, and after the Mariners strung together four-straight points, Springfield earned the 25-14 win on a service error.
The Pride carried the momentum into the third, scoring the first six points as Maine Maritime whistled for an early timeout following a big swing from Hayley Kmetz (Ardsley, N.Y.). The Mariners would begin to find their rhythm and strung together a 13-6 burst to even the set at 19-all. However, that would be as close as the stanza would get as Springfield scored the final six points of the match, taking advantage of four Mariners miscues, to seal the 25-19 win and the sweep.