Springfield, Mass. - November 5, 2011 - The Springfield College women's volleyball team hit .442, its best efficiency of the season, as it swept MIT in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament Semifinals on Saturday afternoon in Blake Arena. The Pride won by the scores of 25-16, 25-10, 25-15, and will play Wellesley in the NEWMAC Final Sunday at 1 pm.
Semifinal #1 -- Springfield 3, MIT 0
The Pride improve to 30-2 on the season and advance to the championship match which will be played on Sunday against Wellesley. The Engineers fall to 23-11 with the loss. Sunday's Championship match will pit the Blue against the Pride, in a rematch of one of Springfield's two losses this season.
Tessa Smolinski led Springfield with 14 kills and 10 digs, while Lauren Torvi added 11 kills at a .455 clip to go along with a match-high three blocks. Kim Giaquinto stuffed the stat sheet with eight kills, 10 digs, and two aces, and Itza Nieves dazzled on defense with a match-high 13 digs. Molly Giannattasio directed Springfield's efficient attack with 36 assists.
For the Engineers, both Kelly Schulte and Trinity Leonard posted seven kills in the loss. Alyssa Rothman was credited with 20 assists and Katie Spielbauer notched a team-best 11 digs. Springfield only had five hitting errors in the match and totaled eight aces to MIT's one.
Semifinal #2 -- Wellesley 3, Coast Guard 1
In the second semifinal of the day, it was #3-seeded Wellesley defeating #2-seeded Coast Guard, 3-1. Game scores were 24-26, 25-18, 25-20, 25-19.
With the win, Wellesley raised its record to 22-8, while Coast Guard fell to 23-5.
Isabel Custodio had a sensational match for Wellesley, recording a triple-double with 23 assists, 14 digs, and 11 kills. Teammate Sydney Carfagno tallied a team-best 13 kills and Traci Hamanaka led the defense with 16 digs. Hilary Ayers added 25 assists and 12 digs for the Blue who hit .210 in the contest.
For the Bears, Catherine Walker led the way all afternoon with a match-high 17 kills and 15 digs. Keriann Mason also produced a match-high 20 digs and 10 kills, while Karen Matic just missed a triple double with 10 kills, 26 assists, and nine digs.
A key turning point for the Blue in the match happened late in the first set when it trailed 23-16 following a Mason kill. With Julia Adams at the service line, Wellesley put forth a furious rally to even the match at 24 after Amanda Duritsch connected on a kill out of the middle. Despite Coast Guard winning the final two points to win the opening set, the Blue finally found its rhythm, which eventually led to wins in the next three sets.