NEW LONDON, Conn., November 3, 2006 - Springfield College senior middle blocker MaryKathryn O'Neil (Liverpool, N.Y.) led the Pride with 16 kills, including the match-ending kill, as third-seeded SC defeated No. 2 MIT in come-from-behind fashion, 3-2, in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Women's Volleyball Tournament semifinals this evening at Coast Guard.
With the victory, the No. 3 Pride will challenge top-seeded Coast Guard in the NEWMAC Tournament championship match on Saturday afternoon, November 4th, beginning at 4:00 p.m. The match can be heard live on sportsjuice.com.
SC won a back-and-forth opening game, 30-27, before the Engineers jumped out to a 15-7 lead in game two and never looked back, winning 30-21. MIT then took a 2-1 lead in games with a 30-24 win in the third frame, as the Pride then showed its resiliency by jumping out to a 15-8 lead in game four and eventually winning, 30-26.
The fifth and deciding game was a see-saw affair with SC scoring three straight to break a six-all tie. The Pride led, 14-11, as the Engineers rattled off three consecutive points to make it 14-13. Then, O'Neil came through with the match-winning kill that catapulted SC into the NEWMAC title match for the second time in three years.
Senior outside hitter Nicole Curtin (Beacon, N.Y.) added 14 kills for the Pride, which improves to 27-7 overall with its sixth straight victory. MIT falls to 31-5 overall on the year.