Last Time Out
The Pride recently captured the 2008 New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament Championship on November 8 with a thrilling 3-2 win over Wellesley. The top-seeded Pride were guided by current NEWMAC Player of the Week Sarah Lang-Rodean’s 17 kills, while Heather Lively tallied 16 kills. After winning the opening two games, the Pride dropped the next two steps, only to win the fifth game, 15-13.
*This marks the first time at the Pride and Maine Maritime have ever faced each other.
* The Pride and Williams have met 38 times throughout the years, with the Pride holding a 25-13 advantage. The two squads met earlier this season, with the Pride winning in four games at the MIT Invitational. In the win over the Ephs, Lively hammered out 16 kills, while Lang-Rodean chipped in with 14. Bethany Stosz was a stalwart at the net, registering 10 blocks in the victory.
On a Roll:
Since falling to Nazareth in the Nazareth Invitational on October 3, the Springfield College women’s volleyball team has been on quite a roll. The Pride has rattled off 17 straight victories, the most since 2003. In 2003, the Pride won a school-record 21 straight games before bowing out to Williams in the NCAA Regional Championship.
Last Time in the Big Dance:
For the first time since 2004, the Pride are playing in the NCAA Tournament. Including this season, Springfield has gone to six NCAA Tournaments in its Division-III era. Below is a list of the Pride’s results in NCAA play.
Nov. 12 - vs. Emmanuel - W, 3-0
Nov. 13 - at Williams - L, 0-3
Nov. 14 - Colby-Sawyer - W, 3-0
Nov. 15 - Williams - L, 1-3
Nov. 9 - Union - W, 3-1
Nov. 10 - Coast Guard - W, 3-1
Nov. 10 - Elmira - L, 2-3
Nov. 15 - vs. Eastern Conn. - W, 3-0
Nov. 16 - at Coast Guard - L, 1-3
Nov. 23 - at Juniata - L, 0-3
Nov. 10 - Williams - W, 3-0
Nov. 11 - Coast Guard - W, 3-1
Nov. 18 - at Ithaca - L, 2-3
Quite an Impact:
In her first season with the Pride, Heather Lively has been a impact season from the moment she stepped on campus. The NEWMAC Athlete of the Year, Lively has been sensational for the Pride this year. In the seven tournaments’ the Pride competed in this season, she was named to the All-Tournament team in every single one, and was named the MVP twice, as well as being selected as the NEWMAC and ECAC Player of the week on two occasions. Lively has pounded out 497 kills, averaging just over four per game, which is the 19th highest average in the country.
Seniors Aylene Ilkson and Heidi Yohe have had standout senior campaigns for the Pride, and were recently recognized for their efforts. The New England Women’s Volleyball Association named the duo two of New England’s top 32 Division III senior volleyball players, and were thus invited to compete in the 2008 NEWVA Senior Classic, Sunday, Nov. 16, at Wellesley College.
The Fab Four:
The Pride had four members of its squad named to the NEWAC All-Conference Team as Lively and Yohe were named to the first team and Ilkson and Stosz were second team honorees.
Another Top Rookie:
For the second-straight year, Dearing has had the top freshman in the conference as Kim Giaquinto was named a Co-Rookie of the Year this year in the NEWMAC. Appearing in 98 games, the freshman opposite hitting has posted 117 kills and 57 total blocks, and has been a major factor in why the Pride has posted over two blocks a game throughout the season.
Leader of the Pride:
Joel Dearing was named the NEWMAC Coach of the Year this season, which marks the first time since 2003 he has been honored by the conference as it’s top coach. Under his direction, the Pride has racked up 31 wins thus far and is currently riding a 17-match winning streak. Heading into this weekend’s NCAA Regional, Springfield sits as the top team in the New England region.