By Stephen Monahan
Hailey Kmetz stood in the right back corner of the court, as she awaited the serve from MIT’s Carly Silvernale.
As Sivernale blasted the ball towards Hannah Lozano, Kmetz got in position for another kill just as she has done all night. Lozano hit the ball towards Sara Labadorf, who has been setting up teammates throughout the match with her 47 assists.
As Labadorf lobbed the ball slowly towards the direction of the far net, Kmetz launched to spike a kill off the outstretched arms of MIT’s Shea Landeene.
That kill would be one of the 15 kills for Kmetz, which is one short of her career high.
“It goes back to Sara (Labadorf) our setter and our passers,” said Kmetz. “It is a team effort, but when the sets are there, its really easy to trust my back row to tell me where to put the ball.
The Springfield College women’s volleyball team would go on to defeat No. 17 MIT in four sets on Tuesday at Blake arena.
Springfield got off to a strong start winning the first set, 25-22, on the back of Kmetz who recorded five kills. Throughout the second set, sophomore Camryn Bancroft and Kmetz would pour in four kills respectively, as the Pride continued to ride their momentum to win the second set 25-20.
The Engineers would respond in the third set as they jumped out to a 6-2 lead due to three attack errors by Springfield. The Pride rallied back from deficits throughout the third set, but lost 25-18.
The Pride rallied together in a group meeting after the third set.
“Just to refocus and remind ourselves that we have not won anything yet,” said Kmetz. “Also that we need to stay positive, have a short term memory and move forward.
Throughout the fourth set, the Pride and the Engineers would go back and forth as the biggest lead in the set was three points.
After MIT Senior Abby Bertics put away one of her 24 kills down the line to tie up the score in the fourth set 24-24, tension started to mount in the crowd.
As points were being matched on both sides, hustling on every play became more valuable.
“Everything good comes from serve tough and passing the ball,” said head coach Moira Long. “Playing defense is stealing points and that is our mentality.”
After consecutive digs by Hannah Lozano that were turned into kills by Kmetz, the Pride found themselves at game point.
As she found herself with the ball the entire game, Kmetz rose up one more time to serve the ball into the deep right corner of the MIT back line to win the fourth set, 30-28, and clinch a victory over a ranked opponent to open NEWMAC play.
Springfield (8-0) will look to continue their momentum into a road matchup at WPI this Saturday. The game is set to begin at 1 p.m.
*Featured photo courtesy of Springfield College Athletics