Springfield, Mass. - September 2, 2011 - First-year head coach Moira Long wasted little time earning her first career victory at the helm of the Springfield College women's volleyball team as the Pride dispatched local-foe Westfield State, 3-0, on Friday evening in the Springfield College Invitational. Springfield then defeated Long's old club, Plymouth State, by the same score.
Game scores in the first match were 25-22, 25-12, 25-23 in favor of the Pride over the Owls.
Long then took on her old team, the Panthers of Plymouth State, in what was sure to be an emotional match. But Springfield defeated Plymouth State, 25-16, 25-23, 25-21. Earlier tonight, Plymouth State had defeated the University of New England, 3 sets to 0. Those scores were 25-17, 25-19, 25-15.
In the night's other match, Roger Williams defeated the University of New England, 3-0. Set scores were 25-17, 25-17, 25-21.
Springfield was led in this match by a trio of players, including senior middle blocker Lauren Torvi (North Smithfield, R.I.), senior opposite Kim Giaquinto (Massapequa, N.Y.), and sophomore outside hitter Tessa Smolinski (Hebron, Conn.). Torvi, led all players with 15 kills. She also had one block, and hit .333. Smolinski followed with 11 kills, a team-high 11 digs, and a team-high .526 percentage. She finished with just one error in 19 swings. And Giaquinto followed that with 10 kills and just three errors in 22 attempts for a .318 hitting percentage. She also had two service aces and four digs to go along with one block.
Freshman setter Molly Giannattasio (East Lyme, Conn.) also made her debut, her collegiate debut, finishing with 34 assists. She also led her team with six service aces. Senior libero Itza Nieves (Vega Baja, Puerto Rico) recorded 10 digs.
For the Owls, who were very much in this match in sets #1 and #3, sophomore outside hitter Julia Warner (Lee, Mass.) led her squad with seven kills and nine digs. Senior Alex Shaw (East Falmouth, Mass.) had five kills. Sophomore outside hitter Lindsay Rescott (Northport, N.Y.) followed with three kills and eight digs.
Sophomore libero Kayleigh Shea (Chelmsford, Mass.) and senior setter Kerin DeGirolamo (North Attleboro, Mass.) recorded seven digs apiece.
In set #1, Springfield jumped out to an 11-4 lead, forcing a Westfield State timeout. But the Owls refused to be intimidated and came all the way back to take an 18-16 advantage. It was still 21-19 Owls, when SC made a swift comeback of its own. SC finished the set with a 6-1 run for the 25-22 score.
Westfield jumped out to take a 6-3 lead in set #2. But the Pride scored the next five points. SC led 11-8, and then outscored WSU 14-4 the rest of the way to capture that set, 25-12.
In set #3, it proved to be even closer than the first set. SC took an 8-4 lead, but WSU tied it at 8-all, 9-all, 10-all, and 11-all. The set was tied six more times, including at 22-all. SC then closed it with a 3-1 run to win set #3, 25-23. Freshman outside hitter Amy Entel (Berkley, Mass.) had the honor of producing the winning kill and presenting Long with her first victory at Springfield College.
In the night's second match, it was Springfield defeating Plymouth State, 3 sets to 0. The set scores were 25-16, 25-23, 25-21.
It was another big match for Torvi, who led the Pride with 14 kills and a match-high four blocks. She finished with a .290 hitting percentage. Smolinski finished with 11 more kills and 12 digs. Nieves topped SC with 13 digs.
For Plymouth State, junior outside hitter Casey Stoodley (Salem, N.H.) topped her squad with nine kills. She also had a team-high-tying 15 digs, the same as senior defensive specialist Danielle Stoodley (Salem, N.H.). Junior middle hitter Elissa Morin (Nashua, N.H.) finished with six kills.
Springfield had its way in the first game, winning 25-16. But in the second game, Plymouth State appeared to be on the verge of tying it up, leading 23-20. But SC tallied the last five points, with Smolinski serving it out for the 25-23 win. In game #3, it was 18-all when SC closed it out with a 7-3 span to take it, 25-21.
Springfield College Invitational
Friday, September 2
Springfield College 3, Westfield State 0 (25-22, 25-12, 25-23)
Plymouth State 3, University of New England 0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-15)
Springfield College 3, Plymouth State 0 (25-16, 25-23, 25-21)
Roger Williams 3, University of New England 0 (25-17, 25-17, 25-21)
(Photo by Fatdog Fotos)