Babson Park, Mass. - September 24, 2013 - Despite 17 kills and 19 digs from Tessa Smolinski (Hebron, Conn.), the Springfield College women's volleyball team lost for the first time this season after dropping a five-set match to Babson in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play on Tuesday.
The Pride, which was receiving votes in today's AVCA Division III National Coaches Poll, now stands at 10-1, 2-1 in league play. The win for the Beavers brings their record to 9-6, 2-1.
Springfield's Lauren Holt (Granby, Conn.) totaled 10 kills and six blocks, while teammate Kelsey McGayhey (Shelter Island, N.Y.) added 10 kills of her own. Daniella Crismani (San Francisco, Calif.) notched 11 digs and nine kills, and Meghan Kinee (Williamstown, N.J.) was credited with a team-best 21 digs. Whitney Miller (Cuba, N.Y.) ended the match with 47 assists.
For Babson, sophomore Mary Donahue (Braintree, Mass.) smashed nine of her career-high 21 kills in the final two sets, and classmate Krissy Robertson (Dedham, Mass.) tied her career-high with 30 assists as Babson College rallied from a set down for the win. First-year Lorraine Mackiewicz (Edison, N.J.) registered a career-high 16, while Robertson and fellow sophomore Alicia Wilde (Franklin, Mass.) each chipped in with 10 kills apiece. Senior captain Brianna San Diego (Daly City, Mass.) had a match-high 26 digs and sophomore Angela Price (Medway, Mass.) posted 23 assists and 10 digs.
The Beavers jumped to a 10-3 lead in the opening set on the strength of three kills from Donahue and two from Mackiewicz, along with a pair of Springfield errors. The Pride quickly rallied, scoring 11 of the next 14 points, including winning five straight points on the serve of Amy Entel (Berkley, Mass.) to take its first lead at 14-13. After surviving four ties and two lead changes, Babson won the final four points, including back-to-back kills from Mackiewicz, win claim the first set, 25-22.
With the second set tied at 9-9, Springfield grabbed control with a five-point run that included four Babson errors to take a 14-9 lead. The Beavers closed within 15-11, but three kills by Smolinski, and another from sophomore Elise Brogan (Andover, Mass.) gave the Pride its biggest lead of the game at 20-11 on the way to a 25-18 victory to even the match at a set apiece.
The third set followed a similar script as Springfield broke open an 8-8 tie by scoring 12 of the next 15 points to grab a 20-11 advantage. McGayhey and Crismani each registered two kills during the spurt, as the Pride cruised to a 25-18 win and a one-set edge.
After Springfield opened up a 12-8 lead in the fourth set, the Beavers rallied with four straight points, including a pair of kills by Donahue, to even the score at 12-12. The teams then split the next 12 points before Babson took the lead for good at 19-18 on a Donahue kill. The Green and White rattled off three more points to take its biggest lead of the set at 22-18 and finished off a 25-22 win with a Wilde kill to force a decisive fifth set.
The Pride took a quick 4-2 lead in the final game, but it was short lived as the Beavers rattled off four straight points to go ahead 6-4. Springfield pulled even at 6-6, but Babson took advantage of a Springfield error, followed by an ace from Price and back-to-back kills from Wilde and Mackiewicz to forge a 10-6 advantage. Springfield pulled within 11-10 following an attack error by the Green and White, but the Beavers closed the match out by scoring four of the last five points, en route to a 15-11 fifth-set triumph.
Springfield will regroup and take on another local-foe as it clashes with Smith in NEWMAC play on Thursday night in Blake Arena.