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Women's Volleyball Battles Past MIT, 3-0, In NEWMAC Semifinals

Kim Giaquinto Springfield/MIT Box Score

Springfield, Mass. - November 6, 2010 - The top-seeded Springfield College women's volleyball grinded out a 3-0 win over fourth-seeded MIT in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship Semifinal on Saturday afternoon in Blake Arena. Four different players recorded at least seven kills for the Pride as it advanced to the championship match by virtue of a 25-23, 25-21, 25-13 victory.

Springfield will take on second-seeded Coast Guard at 1:00 pm on Saturday afternoon for the right to earn the NEWMAC's automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA Tournament.

The Pride improve to 29-3 while MIT falls to 21-14.

Kim Giaquinto posted a team-best 10 kills with Sarah Lang-Rodean tallying eight kills and four blocks out of the middle. Tessa Smolinski chipped in with eight kills and 10 digs while fellow outside hitter Heather Lively notched seven kills. Meaghan Hart recorded a team-best 11 digs for the Pride and Kelsea Hellyar delivered 33 assists to go along with six digs and two aces.

Kelly Schulte registered a team-best eight kills and Trinity Leonard added seven kills and eight digs for the Engineers. Sharon Hao passed out 27 assists, as the MIT defense was paced by Katie Spielbauer's match-high 12 digs.

The Pride jumped all over the Engineers to start the match as it opened up a quick 6-0 lead after Giaquinto hammered a ball down the line. MIT put forth a steady comeback as it eventually grabbed a 14-13 lead after a Pride attack error. The hosts eventually regained the lead and snagged a 24-20 advantage, only to have MIT score three straight points, capped off by a double block from Schulte and Cecily Joujon-Roche, to make it a one-point game at 24-23. Springfield looked to Smolinski and the first-year pounded home a kill to give SC a 25-23 win.

Springfield squandered another big lead in the second as its 20-12 lead nearly disappeared after an 8-2 run, highlighted by a block by Jenny Li and Kristine Bunker. Leading 22-20, Springfield benefited from an MIT attack error, and used a Heather Lively kill and Lang-Rodean solo block to take a two-set lead.

In the third, Springfield held a slight 9-7 lead after Sharon Hao service ace, which forced the Pride into a timeout. A Giaquinto kill out of the break set the tone, as Springfield finished the match on a 16-6 run, with Giaquinto smashing a kill on match point to put the Pride in the conference championship match.

Coast Guard 3, Wellesley 0
Coast Guard/WellesleyBox Score

Springfield, Mass. - November 6, 2010 - The second-seeded Coast Guard women's volleyball team used a balanced attack to advanced to the title match of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Women's Volleyball Championship on Saturday afternoon after sweeping third-seeded Wellesley, 3-0.

The Bears were victorious by the set scores of 26-24, 25-21, 25-21. The win boosts Coast Guard's record to 28-5 on the season, while the Blue drop to 18-9.

Four different members of Coast Guard recorded at least eight kills with Lauren Bloch tallying a team-best nine kills to go along with 10 digs and two blocks in the win. Catherine Walker, Kelsey DePorto, and Keriann Mason each posted eight kills, with DePorto recording five blocks and Mason adding nine digs. Setter Karen Matic stuffed her stat sheet with 34 assists, 13 digs, four kills, and two aces. Jessica Anderson also pitched in 13 digs on defense.

For the Blue, Taylor King finished with a match-high 12 kills, while Elizabeth Campbell recorded a double-double with 12 kills and an impressive 17 digs. Also adding to the Blue's offensive numbers were Isabel Custodio and Amanda Duritsch, who were credited with eight kills. Custodio totaled 23 assists and teammate Victoria Peng added 15 helpers as the duo shared the setting responsibilities.

Coast Guard played scrappy defense throughout the match as it held a 58-42 edge in digs and an 8.0-4.0 advantage in the blocking category.

In the opening set, the Bears led 20-15 after a Kellyn O'Brady kill. However, the Blue stormed back to take a 21-20 kill after King's third-consecutive kill, only to have Rachel Cuthrell even the set at 21. The teams would side out and trade points until Bloch and Matic tallied back-to-back kills to give the Academy a 26-24 win.

Wellesley jumped out to an 11-6 lead in the second as it seized early momentum off the stanza. Coast Guard battled back into the frame and eventually took a 16-15 lead after another Cuthrell kill, completing a 10-4 run. Coast Guard continued to pour on the pressure as it grabbed a four-point cushion at 24-20 off a DePorto kill, only to have the first-year close out the game with her sixth kill of the set.

A physical kill from Nicole Johnson in the third put Coast Guard seemingly in the drivers seat, up 20-15. But as they had the entire match, the Blue chipped away as a King kill brought them within two at 22-20. An ensuing service error made it a three-point game, and the Bears closed out the game as it took advantage of two Wellesley errors.

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