WPI started to celebrate, but the play wasn’t even over yet.
In a NEWMAC conference matchup The Pride beat WPI in five high-scoring sets to improve to 9-2 on the season.
The first set started out strong after Hannah Lozano had an ace as the first serve of the match. From there WPI answered all of Springfield’s points until the Pride was able to score three straight to take a 9-5 lead. WPI chipped away at Springfield’s lead until they were able to tie it up at 11 apiece. After every point was answered WPI eventually took at 24-20 lead, even a kill and block from Hayley Kmetz wasn’t enough as WPI took the first set 25-23.
“We kept saying that we wanted to move our sets inside so we could attack the key area so when we executed on that we scored, but then we would get away from that and then we would struggle,” said head coach Moria Long.
The Pride took the lead during the second set which forced WPI to call a timeout after Springfield led 13-7. After the timeout WPI once again was able to chip away at Springfields lead until the Pride had to call a timeout while they still led 23-20. After a kill from Bridget Walsh and Hannah Andres the Pride took the second set 25-20.
During the third set the Pride looked like they were going to run away with it when they took a 9-3 lead, however WPI was able to tie things up once again at 15 apiece. The Pride then trailed WPI until they tied it up at 20 each. Springfield had a block from Donnelly and Katie vonKampen, a block from Kmetz and a service ace for Kayley Cimino which won the set 25-23.
“Our communication was really consistent and we had a lot of energy and fire on the court,” said Kmetz.
WPI took the fourth set after starting with four straight points. Even after Daniela Detore and Walsh had an ace and Donnelly and vonKampen had a huge block the Pride wasn’t able to hold on. “We can’t keep running the same plays, you have to give them something to look at because I thought they played really great defense,” said Long.
In the fifth and final set both WPI took a 2-0 lead, but Springfield answered this with six straight points including a service ace from Anagabrielle Sanchez. After WPI tied it up at 9 apiece Springfield had an unbelievable play. “Ana was a difference maker in that set with her energy but also her play at the back of the court where everyone else stopped and she pancakes it up and it was just like yeah we’re still going and so that was obviously a momentum changer.” Before the play was even over WPI celebrated, but what they didn’t realize was Sanchez was able to pop the ball up from the floor and the Pride hit it back over the net. After three blocks from vonKampen at the end of the set the Pride took the final set 15-12.
“Our team motto is just to be silly and to be crazy and have fun out there, volleyball is fun and we are all pretty good at it so just keeping that calm mentality and just bringing the fire and everything we have,” said Kmetz. The Pride will be back in Blake on Tuesday when they face off against Clark.