Worcester, Mass. - October 28, 2008 - Senior Aylene Ilkson (Baldwin, N.Y.) notched a double-double with 10 kills and 10 digs to lift Springfield to a 3-0 victory over host WPI in NEWMAC volleyball action on Thursday evening. The Pride took the match by scores of 25-22, 25-15 and 25-10.
With the win, Springfield, who was ranked second in last week’s NCAA regional rankings, clinches at least a tie of the NEWMAC regular season championship and is assured of the top seed in the upcoming conference tournament. The Pride is now 27-4 overall and 8-0 in conference action while WPI drops to 10-16 on the season and 1-7 in NEWMAC play.
Heather Lively (Royalston, Mass.) paced Springfield with 13 kills while Kelsea Hellyar (Fairhaven, Mass.) led all players with 35 assists. Heidi Yohe (Deer Park, Wash.) aided the Pride effort on the defensive end as she posted 13 digs.
WPI played a strong first set, rallying from an early four-point deficit to even the match at 20-20 before Springfield scored five of the final seven points. Becca Holmberg (Madison, CT) paced the Crimson and Gray attack with seven kills while Becca Mattern (Rockville, CT) hit at an impressive .500 clip (6 kills, 1 error in 10 attempts). Nikki Croteau (Wilbraham, MA) dished out 17 assists while Joan Porambo (Jim Thorpe, PA) chipped in with a team-best 14 digs.
Before the match, Engineer classmates Kathryn Bomba (Chelmsford, MA), Christina Grant (Mansfield, MA) Sarah Artz (Spring Grove, IL) and Croteau were honored as part of Senior Night festivities.
Both teams close out their regular season with NEWMAC matches on Saturday at 1pm. WPI ventures to Norton for a match against Wheaton while Springfield entertains Coast Guard.