WELLESLEY, Mass. – September 20, 2008 - In a key early-season NEWMAC match up, Springfield College topped Wellesley in a marathon 3-2 (27-25, 19-25, 26-28, 25-23, 15-13) match Saturday afternoon at Wellesley College.
The win lifts the Pride to 9-1 overall, 2-0 in the conference. Wellesley falls to 8-1 overall, 1-1 in the conference.
The opening set proved to be a blueprint for the rest of day, as the teams traded sideouts throughout a hard-fought game. Springfield inched to a 23-22 lead, but Wellesley scored two straight to earn a set point. The Pride bounced back, scoring four of the next six points to earn a 27-25 win.
The teams stayed even early in the second set until the Blue used a three-point serving run from Madeleine Brumley (Lafayette, La.) to take a 15-10 lead. Wellesley cruised to a 25-19 win, evening the match at one set apiece.
Set three proved to be a back and forth affair, with Wellesley taking an early 8-6 lead. Springfield battled back to take a 12-11 edge, and held a 22-20 advantage late the game. After trading two sideouts, Wellesley held off two set points, then used another serving run from Brumley to take the set 28-26.
Springfield took an early 4-1 lead in set four and took advantage of two four-point runs from defensive specialist Meghan Hart (Stony Brook, N.Y.) and setter Kelsea Hellyar (Fairhaven, Mass.) to take a 23-17 lead. Despite a furious Wellesley comeback, the Pride held on for 25-23 win to tie the match at two sets each.
In the deciding set, the Pride broke away on a four-point serving run from Aidan Tousey (Irvington, N.Y.) to take a 9-7 lead. Another three-point run from Hellyar put the game out of reach as the Pride held on for a 15-13 win.
Hellyar captained the Springfield offense, distributing 41 assists in the win. The Pride was led at the net by Heather Lively (Royalston, Mass.) with 16 kills on 52 attempts. Aylene Ilkson (Baldwin, N.Y.) and Bethany Stosz (Amherst, Mass.) chipped in 10 kills apiece. But Springfield won the match with defense, tallying 11 team blocks, as Stosz led the way with eight. In addition, five Springfield defenders reached double-digits in digs. Heidi Yohe (Deer Park, Wash.) led the way with 19, followed closely by Ilkson with 14, Hart and Hellyar with 13, and Jessica Baldwin (Fairport, N.Y.) with 11.
Alice Cummings (Tallahassee, Fla.) led the Blue attack with 20 kills. Samantha Du (Houston, Tx.) added 17 kills, while Jessica Duff (Milton, Abingdon, UK) tallied 12. Duff led all diggers with 24, followed by Cummings with 23, and Emily Peters (Temescal Valley, Calif.) with 15. Victoria Peng (Diamond Bar, Calif.) dished out 52 assists in the loss.
Both teams will face NEWMAC foes on Tuesday, Sept. 23, at 7:00 p.m., when Springfield hosts MIT and Wellesley entertains Coast Guard.