The Springfield College women’s volleyball team swept WPI in commanding fashion on Tuesday, Oct. 24 at Blake Arena. The Pride (22-3) stay undefeated in conference play (8-0).
A trio of Riley Donahue kills saw the Pride take an early 6-2 lead. Springfield built off the strong start by forcing WPI to commit eight errors to make the score 18-8. The Pride continued taking advantage of the Goats’ errors to win the set 25-16.
The second set saw the two teams trading points early, as the score was 4-4. Kills from Donahue, Olivia Gentry, and Olivia Nealy gave the Pride a 10-5 lead. Natalie Billet and Maeve Votlz contributed more kills to extend Springfield’s lead to 17-11. WPI didn’t stop Donahue, as she added four more kills and had two aces. A kill by Gentry ended the set in a Pride victory, 25-17.
Springfield dominated the start of the third set – jumping out to a six point advantage. It was a team effort all across, with Donahue and Voltz collecting three and one kills, while Billet and Ally Townsend each had an ace of their own. With a strong .500 hitting percentage, the Pride’s lead increased to 21-9 before Donahue added four kills to give the team the win 25-11, and to sweep WPI 3-0.
The Pride’s consistent performance was a key factor in beating the Goats. WPI’s offense couldn’t keep up with Springfield’s – and the numbers back it up.
WPI only had 25 kills compared to Springfield’s 44.
After losing two games at the New England Challenge, Springfield reverse swept Williams at the same tournament and on Tuesday beat a hot WPI team who had won four straight. Donahue credits this to the team’s ability to fight.
“Bouncing back from those games and being able to take it to Williams and have a great reverse sweep, that’s the great thing about our team,” Donahue said. “We love to fight, so that’s going to be the mentality for every game from here on out.”
The Pride only have two more regular season games left, playing on the road against Salve Regina and ending with a home matchup against Babson. These games are big conference matchups and wins in both seal home court advantage for the NEWMAC playoffs.
Coach Moira Long spoke on the importance of hosting the NEWMAC.
“It’s our goal to be home at Blake Arena and host the whole championship,” Long said. “Nebraska has a pretty good fan base, but Blake Arena is a special place to play — so that’s where we want to be.”
Springfield plays their final regular season road game against Salve Regina next Tuesday, Oct. 31, at 7 p.m.
Photo courtesy of Springfield Athletics