Springfield, Mass. – October 16, 2012 - The Springfield College women’s volleyball team rebounded from a sluggish start to knock of Smith College in four sets in New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play Tuesday night in Blake Arena.
Springfield was victorious 23-25, 25-17, 25-11, 25-16.
The Pride improve to 22-5, 6-1 in league play while the loss drops Smith to 6-14, 2-5.
Elise Brogan had the best match of her young career, totaling a team-best 15 kills at a .583 rate out of the middle. Tessa Smolinski notched 13 kills, seven digs, and four aces, while Mary Consol chipped in 10 kills at at a .400 clip. Molly Giannattasio had a very-well rounded match running the Pride's offense to a .402 hitting percentage as she racked up 49 assists, six digs, four kills, three aces, and a pair of blocks.
Blair Bell paced Smith with 14 kills, hitting .303 from the outside to go along with 13 digs. Mei-Li Smith recorded 13 kills, 16 assists, and 12 digs, while Rosa Drummond registered 11 kills, six digs, and four blocks. Bethany Ashworth finished the evening with 22 assists and seven digs. The Pioneers totaled a .153 hitting percentage as a team.
In the opening set, Springfield enjoyed an early 6-3 cushion, but a 6-0 run highlighted two kills and three aces from Bell, put the visitors in front 9-6. The Pioneers kept up the offensive pressure and extended a 17-10 lead on another Bell kill, forcing the Pride to burn its second timeout. Springfield would not go away lightly, storming back with a 6-1 spurt, with Smolinski posting three kills, to force the visitors into a timeout. Springfield would eventually even the set at 23 all after a Smith attack error, but the Pionners used consecutive kills from Smith and Bell to win the set 25-23.
Springfield didn’t waste any time seizing control of the second set, racing out to an 12-3 advantage thanks to the tough serving of Smolinski, which included a trio of aces. The Pride continued to roll through the set and used a Kerry Purcell kill to earn eat point at 24-12. However, the Pioneers proved to be stubborn, rattling off five-straight points before Brogan connected on her sixth kill of the frame to even the match at one.
The Pride opened up the third with a the first 11 points and never was threatened en route to a 25-11 victory. Hitting .565 in the frame, Consol totaled four of the Pride’s 14 kills in the frame, while the visitors were limited to a -.091 hitting percentage.
The fourth set went back and forth to begin until the Pride began to distance itself, extending a 10-6 lead following a Daniella Crismani kill. Smith brought it back to 11-10 after an Ashworth ace, only to have the Pride respond with the set’s next four points, using a Consol kill to go up 15-10. The teams traded the next six points, with Brogan notching solo stuff, to force the visitors into a timeout at 18-13. From there, Springfield cruised to a 25-16 win, with Purcell hammering a ball for the exclamation on match point.
The Pride will prep for a big weekend when it competes in the Volleyball Hall of Fame Invitational at Smith College when it will square off against Amherst, Williams, and Middlebury.