Springfield, Mass. - October 5, 2010 - Behind the best match in Tessa Smolinski's young career, the Springfield College women's volleyball team grinded out a three-game victory over visiting Smith College in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action. The Pride won by the scores of 25-15, 26-24, 25-13.
The victory boosts Springfield's record to 19-2, 5-0 in league play. The Pioneers now stand at 1-13, 0-5.
Smolinski was tremendous for Springfield as she totaled a team-best 13 kills on 16 errorless swings for an incredible hitting percentage of .812. Sarah Lang-Rodean totaled 12 kills at a .400 clip to go along with four solo blocks, while Kim Giaquinto added seven kills and four digs. Meaghan Hart posted a match-high 10 digs, followed by nine from Smolinski and seven from Cassie Seymour. Kelsea Hellyar delivered 36 assists and picked up eight digs to go along with four kills for the Pride.
Rosa Drummond registered eight kills and four blocks out of the middle for Smith, while Laurel Belton added five kills, four digs, and three blocks. Courtney Faria and Beth Ashworth each finished with seven digs to lead Smith on defense.
As a team, Springfield hit .257 and recorded 50 kills and 51 digs. The visiting Pioneers hit .000 for the match and totaled 19 kills and 30 digs.
Smith jumped out to a quick 4-2 lead in the opening set, only to have the Pride storm back on a 6-0 run capped off by a Seymour kill to force a Smith timeout with the score 8-4. The Pride continued to roll as it hit .312 in the frame and limited Smith to a -.029 attacking percentage as it cruised to the 10-point victory. 13 different players saw the court for head coach Joel Dearing in the frame, with Smolinski and Lauren Torvi each producing three kills in the set.
The second stanza was a much different story, as Smith controlled the set throughout until Smolinski put the team on her back in a comeback effort. In its 26-24 victory, Springfield pounded out 22 kills, but committed 13 attack errors to keep the Pioneers in the set throughout. The set featured eight ties and seven lead changes before the back-and-forth affair was finally settled on Smolinski's seventh kill of the frame.
Springfield set the tone in the final set as it posted five kills on its first seven swings as it raced out ot an 11-5 advantage after a Lang-Rodean kill. Smith would get within four at 13-9 after a Belton kill, only to have the Pride close the match out of a 12-4 run, capped off by another Smolinski kill, as it completed the three-set sweep.
The Pride will now prepare to host the Tom Hay Invitational over the upcoming weekend. Springfield will kick off the action on Friday evening when it takes on local-foe Westfield State at 7:00 pm.