Springfield College (7-4) and Babson College (11-5) woman’s volleyball teams met for the 17th time in conference history on Tuesday at 7:00 P.M. in Blake Arena.
After being defeated in the first 15 career matches, the Babson Beavers now have a two game winning streak on the Pride, following their win last year. It took five intense, hard fought sets, but junior, Mary Donahue (16 kills) took over in the fifth set and eventually got Babson a heavily desired NEWMAC conference victory with a score of, 3-2 (25-23, 22-25, 25-16, 13-25, 15-9).
Both teams showed a vicious tenacity, and an extremely high level of energy. The scoring went back and forth in the first set as the Beavers and the Pride exchanged leads six times and found themselves tied on seven different occasions. Babson eventually closed out the set on a 5-1 run.
In the second set the Pride found themselves in a 14-11 hole before Head Coach Moira Long called a timeout and got her team refocused. After the timeout, Springfield started to gel and went on a 5-1 run making the score 16-15. Later in the set, the score was tied at 22 when Springfield sophomore, Francesca Mack (14 kills) showed everyone in the gym how hard she could hit by delivering a monstrous kill. The Pride never looked back from there – winning the set 25-22.
Babson dominated the third set, 25-16, by taking advantage of Springfield’s errors. The fourth set, however, was the complete opposite. The Pride picked up the intensity and executed very well to the point where the Beavers looked slightly disorganized at times. Springfield went on an 11-3 run en route to a 25-13 victory.
The decisive fifth set was all about energy for Babson.
“Mary (Donahue) brought ridiculous energy in set five,” said Babson’s Head Coach, Eric Neely. “She came in and set the tone, and that was huge for us emotionally.”
The Beavers started the fifth set with a 6-2 run and never lost sight of the lead again. Springfield fought till the end, but Donahue put on a hitting clinic by delivering four kills and led her team to a 15-9 final set victory to seal the deal.
“Springfield is an amazing program,” Neely exclaimed. “They’ve been the best team in the NEWMAC since I’ve been a college coach and to be able to beat them is great.”
The Pride will head to Northampton, Massachusetts on Thursday at 7:00 P.M. where they will take on Smith College in their next match.