By Helen Lucas
Assistant Sports Editor
It’s not a volleyball game in Blake Arena without a ball getting stuck in the rafters, and that’s just what happened during the second set on Wednesday night when Springfield took on Amherst College.
The Pride just came off a big weekend by winning the Springfield College Invitational in their first weekend of play, while Wednesday’s game was the first one for the Mammoths all season.
The Pride got off to a slow start when Amherst took the first four points of the set. Springfield wasn’t able to take the lead until Amherst committed multiple attack errors and the Pride led 13-12, however that wasn’t enough. The Mammoths had five straight points at the end of the set to allow them to win the set 25-20.
“The first set we were really internal meaning we didn’t narrate the game enough and talk about what is happening on the other side of the net,” said Jen Donnelly. “We didn’t own the gym as much. This is Blake arena we step in with our heads held high, our shoulders back. This is our game.”
The Pride came out stronger at the start of the second set with two blocks in a row to earn them their first two points of the set. After trailing 4-8 Amherst seemed to be running away with the set again, so Springfield was forced to call a timeout. The Pride were able to tie up the set at 16 apiece after a kill by Laura Townsend. From there the Amherst was answering everyone one of Springfield’s points until a kill by Kayleigh Helgesen gave the Pride a 22-20 lead. With two service aces in a row from Hannah Lozano the Pride was up 24-20 and it was Donnelly who had the final kill to tie up the sets at one apiece.
“The second set we are mentally going to change our play and then it translated to physically changing our play and then we just got more consistent after that,” said Donnelly
The third set looked very similar to the first set with four unanswered points, but this time Springfield was on the winning side. After a block by Townsend Amherst, who was trailing 9-2, was forced to call a timeout. Springfield grew its lead all the way to 19-6 before Amherst started to make a comeback, but by then it was too late and the Pride took the set 25-17.
In the fourth and final set the teams were never more than two points apart until an ace by Daniela Detore was immediately followed by an Amherst attack error which caused Springfield to have a 13-9 lead. From there the lead continued to grow until Springfield won the set 25-13.
The Pride, who are now 5-0, will be playing in the MIT invitational this weekend.
“Coach always says score doesn’t matter in a way,” said Donnelly. “Your record is great, but you always focus on the on that one next practice then you focus on the next match.”