Springfield, Mass. - October 11, 2013 - The Springfield College women's volleyball team was edged by Roger Williams in an exciting five-set match in the opening night of the Tom Hay Invitational on Friday evening in Blake Arena. Set scores for the Hawks were 27-25, 19-25, 26-24, 21-25, 15-13.
Tonight's match pitted two of the top teams in the region, as the Hawks entered the match ranked 24th in the nation and second in the region, while the Pride was ranked third in New England. Roger Williams improves to 21-1 on the year, while Springfield drops to 14-2. It was also a rematch of last year's NCAA Championship First Round matchup, which Springfield won in three sets.
Kelsey McGayhey (Shelter Island, N.Y.) had a dominant evening for the Pride, totaling 12 kills on 21 errorless attempts to go along with four blocks in four sets played. Tessa Smolinski (Hebron, Conn.) notched 16 kills and 12 digs, while Lauren Holt (Granby, Conn.) produced 13 kills and six blocks. Amy Entel (Berkley, Mass.) tallied six service aces and Whitney Miller (Cuba, N.Y.) posted 52 assists and 14 digs.
Roger Williams had four players with double digit kills, led by Krystie Luczynski's (Kensington, Conn.) 16 kills and six blocks. Elizabeth Flaherty (Sloatsburg, N.Y.) added 14 kills and 13 digs, and Kristen Boyer (Ephrata, Pa.) registered 13 kills. Brittany McMullen (Lancaster, Pa.) had 12 kills at a .545 clip out of the middle, and Sarah McAniff (Redding, Conn.) recorded a match-best 23 digs. Alexa Armenti (Dix Hills, N.Y.) totaled 37 helpers in the win.
In the opening set, Springfield forced a Roger Williams timeout after Kerry Purcell (Massapeau, N.Y.) fired a ball down the line to give the hosts an 11-7 advantage. The Hawks responded with a 7-2 spurt, with McMullen converting an overpass swing, as Roger Williams gained a 14-13 lead. Springfield would trail 19-17 but reeled off 6-1 burst to take a 23-20 lead after a Hawk hitting error. The Pride let two set points slip away before a McMullen kill and Springfield hitting error gave the visitors a 27-25 win.
Fueled by two early aces from Entel, the Pride raced out a 5-0 lead to start the second, only to have Roger Williams storm back to even things at 13 on a Luczynski kill. The teams would trade three-point runs, with Springfield's spurt at 16-all giving them a three-point cushion that they would not relinquish. In fitting fashion, the frame ended on another Entel ace to even the match.
The third set featured 10 ties and four lead changes, and Roger Williams seemingly was in control with an 18-13 lead after a Luczynski and Flaherty double block. Bolstered by a strong team effort, Springfield stormed back on a 11-5 run to earn set point following a huge block from Holt and Miller. Flaherty sided out with a big swing to even things at 24-all, and a Springfield attack error and Luczynski kill allowed the Hawks to take the set, 26-24.
A Boyer kill cut Springfield's lead to 13-12 in the fourth, but Holt seized the momentum for the Pride with two kills and a solo stuff to give Springfield an 18-13 lead. However, Luczynski answered right back with two kills and a block of her own to cap off a 5-0 run to tie the set at 18. The Pride would not be denied, using a Daniella Crismani (San Francisco, Calif) kill to jump start three-straight Springfield points which would lead to a 25-21 set victory.
Luczynski was the difference in the fifth, accounting for four kills and two blocks and powered the visitors to an 10-6 lead. The Pride clawed its way back to get within one at 13-12, only to have Luczynski convert for a kill for set point. McGayhey stemmed the tides with a kill, but Boyer put the exclamation point on the win with a swing from the right side.
2013 Tom Hay Invitational
Roger Williams 3, Springfield 2 (27-25, 19-25, 26-24, 21-25, 15-13)
Plymouth State 3, Westfield State 2 (18-25, 25-21, 20-25, 25-20, 15-11)