Springfield, Mass. - November 9, 2013 - The top-seeded Springfield College women's volleyball team swept fourth-seeded MIT in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship Semifinals in Blake Arena on Saturday afternoon. Set scores were 25-12, 25-23, 25-20.
Springfield improves to 24-5 on the year and will play Wellesley in the NEWMAC title game on Sunday at 1:00 pm. The loss drops MIT to 22-11 this season. Today marked the fourth-straight season that the Pride and Engineers met in the semifinals of the league tournament.
Kelsey McGayhey (Shelter Island, N.Y.) paced the Pride attack with 12 kills, including seven in the opening frame. Lauren Holt (Granby, Conn.) tallied 10 kills at a.400 clip, and Tessa Smolinski (Hebron, Conn.) added seven kills and 10 digs. Amy Entel (Berkley, Mass.) anchored the Pride defense with 12 digs and had two of the Pride's seven aces.
As a team, the Pride hit .300 for the match as Whitney Miller (Cuba, N.Y.) and Molly Giannatasio (East Lyme, Conn.) combined for 31 helpers.
MIT's Megan Gebhard (Howell, Mich.) finished the afternoon with a match-high 15 kills, and Tatiana Berger (Columbus, Ohio) added eight kills. Jennie Glerum (Redmond, Wash.) picked up 14 kills, while teammate Tori Wuthrich (Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.) tallied 12 digs and a pair of aces. The Engineers were limited to a .141 hitting percentage on the day.
In the opening set, the Pride snagged an early 13-8 lead after Amanda Palladino's (Cheshire, Conn.) swing found the back corner. After Berger sided out for the Engineers and delivered an ace to make it a three-point game, the Pride poured on a 8-0 run to take complete control up 21-10. McGayhey was unstoppable in the run, notching three of her seven kills in the set. Holt and Daniella Crismani (San Francisco, Calif.) put the exclamation point on the set with a double block to give the Pride a 25-12 win.
Springfield began the second set with a 13-10 cushion following a MIT service error, but the Engineers answered with four-straight points to take their first lead of the set at 14-13 following back-to-back Gebhard kills. The Pride battled back to tie the set six times, the last coming at 23-all on a kill by McGayhey. MIT's ensuing swing sailed long to give the Pride set point, and Holt put the ball away with a big swing as the hosts won the second, 25-23.
In the third set, Kerry Purcell's (Massapequa, N.Y.) roll shot in transition forced MIT into a timeout trailing 8-4. Springfield maintained a 13-10 cushion following another Smolinski kill, only to have MIT pour on an incredible 7-0 burst to charge away with a 17-13 lead on a Gebhard solo stuff. Out of a Springfield timeout, an MIT service error kick-started Springfield's answer, as the Pride scored nine-straight points behind the terrific serving of Entel. Holt had three kills in the run for the Pride, and after a MIT attack error gave the hosts match point, Giannattasio ripped an ace to complete the sweep.
Wellesley 3, Coast Guard 0
Coast Guard/Wellesley Box Score
The second-seeded Wellesley College women's volleyball team powered past sixth-seeded Coast Guard in three sets to advance to the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Women's Volleyball Championship on Saturday at Springfield College's Blake Arena. The Blue won by the scores of 25-18, 25-14, 25-22.
The victory now makes Wellesley 28-5 on the season as they advance to the conference championship match for the third-straight year. Coast Guard falls to 22-9 after becoming the first-ever sixth-seed to win a quarterfinals match in NEWMAC Championship play as it bested third-seeded Babson in four sets on Tuesday.
Wellesley finished the match hitting .261 and was led by Sydney Carfagno (Los Angeles, Calif.), who notched 13 kills, nine digs, three aces, and two blocks. Courtney Lang (Seattle, Wash.) added nine kills at a .391 clip, while both Kellyn O'Brady (Garden City, Mich.) and Caitlin Laughlin (St. Louis Park, Minn.) tallied seven kills. Traci Hamanaka (Burbank, Calif.) picked up a match-best 16 digs, and the setting duo of Hilary Ayers (Coeur D'Alene, Idaho) and Maddie Koh (Seattle, Wash.) combined for 33 assists.
Coast Guard's Rebekah Muller (Denair, Calif.) paced the Bears with a double double as she recorded 12 kills and 12 digs. Samantha Marmolejo (El Paso, Texas) registered 15 digs, while Susan West (Jacksonville Beach, Fla.) racked up eight kills and eight digs. For the match, Coast Guard hit .065.
Laughlin connected out of the middle for the Blue to give them a 15-7 lead in the first, but Coast Guard rattled off seven of the sets next eight points with Marmolejo at the service line to make it a 15-14 contest following a block by Muller and Kelsey DePorto (Franfurt, Ill.). Wellesley regrouped, using back-to-back kills by Lang to fuel a 9-4 push that gave them the first set by the score of 25-18.
Wellesley once again jumped out to an early advantage in the second, seizing a 15-6 lead after a kill by O'Brady. Coast Guard struggled to find its offensive rhythm, and with Wellesley hitting .391 for the frame, the Blue cruised to a 25-14 second-set win. Carfagno had five of her 13 kills in the frame.
The third set was the closest, featuring six ties and four lead changes. It was Coast Guard that seemed in control as it used a Muller kill and ace by Maggie Hine (Richmond, Va.) to earn a 17-15 cushion. Wellesley answered with a 6-1 burst, capped off by another Carfagno kill to take a 21-18 lead. The teams would trade points until Carfagno sealed the semifinal win with her 13th kill of the match.