Springfield, Mass. – October 27, 2012 - The Springfield College women's volleyball team secured the second seed in the upcoming New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship on Saturday after dispatching the Coast Guard Academy in three sets. Springfield won by the scores of 25-18, 25-11, 25-17.
Springfield improves to 26-6, 7-2 in league play, while the Bears dropped to 17-13, 6-3. The Pride will begin its title defense this upcoming week when it competes in the NEWMAC Championship, which will be hosted at top-seeded Wellesley College.
Tessa Smolinski led Springfield with 13 kills and eight digs, while fellow outside Daniella Crismani recorded 10 kills at a .421 clip to go along with 13 digs. Mary Consol, Elise Brogan, and Kelsey McGayhey all had six kills apiece, and Amy Entel recorded a match-high 14 digs. Clare Henry had a solid match on defense with 13 digs, and Whitney Miller ran Springfield's offense with 38 assists.
The Bears were limited to a .060 hitting percentage for the match and struggled to find its offensive rhythm throughout. Keriann Mason produced a team-best 11 kills and added 11 digs, while Kelsey DePorto notched nine kills and three blocks. Samantha Marmolejo led the team with 13 digs, and Karen Matic totaled 18 assists in the loss.
In the opening set, Springfield used a 8-1 run to break a 3-3 tie, and gain an 11-4 cushion after Crismani’s third kill in the early going. Coast Guard battled back to get within 19-15 using a double block from Matic and DePorto. However, Springfield responded with the sets next three points to regain control, and Smolinski put the lid on the 25-18 first set win with a big swing off the Coast Guard block. Crismani had a great start to the match, producing six kills in the opening set.
After surrendering the first point of the second set, Springfield rattled off the next eight to own an 8-1 lead and force the visitors into a timeout. The Pride didn’t let up as it steamrolled through the second set, hitting .325 compared to Coast Guard's -.049. Henry was especially strong in the set, collecting 10 digs of her 13 digs for the hosts.
The third set was the closest from the one set as it featured eight ties and six lead changes. With the score even at nine, a double block from McGayhey and Brogan kickstarted a 7-2 burst that put Springfield in command, 17-11. The hosts extended its lead to as much as nine before Smolinski put the match away with her 13th kill. Mason led the way for Coast Guard in the set with six kills, with Smolinski countered with five and McGayhey chipped in four.