CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – November 2, 2007 - Despite a late surge by No. 3-seeded Springfield College, No.2-seeded Wellesley College went on to post a 30-22, 30-15, 30-28 win in a New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Women’s Volleyball Championship Tournament semifinal match on Friday. The Blue (25-6) will take on host and top-seed MIT in the title match on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 4:00 p.m.
With the opening game tied at nine, Wellesley mounted a 17-4 run which featured a seven-point stretch with Alice Kate Cummings at the service line. The Pride (23-10) countered with seven consecutive points that brought the score to 26-20. The Blue ended the rally with back-to-back hits from Murielle Dawdy and Cummings as it went on to close out the game.
In the second stanza, Wellesley raced out to an 18-4 advantage, powered by a nine-point serving run from Jessica Duff. After trading points for most of the frame, the Blue scored four straight to finish out the frame.
The final game was a back-and-forth affair, with Springfield establishing an 11-10 lead on a block by Bethany Stosz (Amherst, Mass.) and Heidi Yohe (Deer Park, Wash.). Wellesley reclaimed the advantage with a four-point spurt. Following a block that put the Blue ahead, 20-16, the Pride posted a trio of points to close the gap. Wellesley responded by scoring eight out of the next 10 points, extending its lead to 28-21. Behind strong serving by Jennifer Grimaldi (Farmingville, N.Y.), Springfield tallied seven unanswered points. Each side notched a point before Dawdy’s kill sealed the match for the Blue.
Dawdy and Cummings each posted a double-double for Wellesley, finishing with 14 digs and 13 kills and 13 digs and 10 kills, respectively. Duff paced the attack with 16 kills as Emily Peters led the defense with 16 digs. Tracy Waldman turned in a team-high four blocks while Lauren Rasmussen recorded 10 kills and three blocks. Billie Briones and Victoria Peng shared setting duties, finishing with 28 and 13 assists.
For Springfield, Yohe contributed 13 digs and nine kills while Aylene Ilkson (Baldwin, N.Y.) added 14 digs and seven kills. The Pride thus ended its season.