Springfield, Mass. - November 3, 2009 - The Springfield College women's volleyball team took its first step to defending its conference crown as it dispatched Smith College in three games on Tuesday evening in the quarterfinals of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament.
The Pride was victorious by the game scores of 25-9, 25-17, 25-16.
The victory boosts Springfield's record to 27-6 on the season, while Smith's season comes to a close with a 7-19 record.
Springfield, the third seed in the tournament, will now advance to the weekend where it will take on second-seeded Wellesley on the campus of MIT. Springfield will look to avenge a pair of losses that the Blue has previously handed SC earlier this season.
Heather Lively was impressive for the Pride as she posted a match-high 15 kills, while hitting .375, to go along with six digs and three blocks. Lauren Torvi recorded 10 kills at a .444 clip to go along with two blocks, while Sarah Lang-Rodean chipped in with eight kills and a pair of aces. Kelsea Hellyar dished out 37 assists in just three games and added three aces. Meaghan Hart totaled a match-high 18 digs, while Cassie Seymour continued to rack up the aces this season, adding four more to her total. Bethany Stosz registered match-high five blocks to go with her four kills in the match.
As a team, Springfield hit .337 in the match, while Smith was limited to just a .032 attacking percentage. Mikal Minarich led the visitors with seven kills and seven digs, while Laurel Belton added six kills and five digs. Brianne Connizzo finished with a team-best 12 digs.
After the Pioneers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening game, Springfield rattled off a 10-0 run to take control of the stanza. Smith didn't help their cause as they totaled six attack errors on their first 13 swings. Stosz posted three blocks in the frame as the Pride controlled the tempo en route to the 25-9 win.
The Pride used a quick 6-0 spurt to open up the second game as it continued to pour on the offensive pressure. Smith battled back after the early deficit to make it a 12-11 ball game after a Belton kill. However, Springfield was too much down the stretch, as it opened up a nine-point lead that it would not relinquish. In the set, Lively pounded out six kills on nine swings while Torvi posted five kills on six attempts.
In the third stanza, it was all Springfield and its potent offense as SC notched 17 kills, hitting. 417. Lively and Lang-Rodean combined four 10 kills on 19-errorless swings to pace the Pride attack. After a Minarich kill made it 6-5 in favor of the hosts, the Pride went on a 8-1 run capped off by a Seymour ace. Lively hammered home a kill to complete the sweep as SC took the third game, 25-16.