By Sam Leventhal
SPRINGFIELD —In dominant fashion, the Springfield College Pride women’s volleyball program took down Wellesley College, 3-0, in a NEWMAC Semifinal matchup at Blake Arena on Thursday.
With three of their four seniors inserted into the starting lineup, the Pride relied on the experience veteran leadership to take over. Jen Donnelly and Hayley Kmetz combined for eight kills in the opening frame.
The array of energy that fills Blake Arena when the Pride women’s volleyball team is on the court is unmatched by any other event. Whether it’s digging into their repertoire of cheer that creates sound waves bouncing off of the concrete walls of Blake Arena after each point.
Or is it’s the continuous chatter before the ball flies over the net, Springfield brings their best attitude and effort on every play. On the bench, the energy ceases to muffle. Each one of those players is still a part of every move throughout the match.
Whether it’s on the court or on the bench, the resilience that this team brings to the forefront has propelled their season and showed a recipe for success. The combination of this energy and the leadership qualities that are put on display night-in and night-out have now led them to be able to compete for a NEWMAC title.
“I definitely look back to last year when I was a senior in high school. I want to fight for my seniors,” senior Sara Labadorf. “I’m a freshman, I have hopeful years to come but this is their year.”
Opening the first frame, the Pride came out firing on all cylinders. With an opening kill from Donnelly, Springfield rolled to a 25-13, set victory. Wellesley showed resilience in the second and third sets, 25-22 and 25-23.
Donnelly led the pack with 14 kills followed by Kmetz with eight. Freshman setter Sara Labadorf added 27 assists to the mix in the sweep.
“I’ve said all year that this group of women is just so much fun,” head coach Moira Long said. ”It’s the first thing that I said when we got to the baseline is that this is probably the most fun we’ve had playing volleyball all year.”
Springfield will host the NEWMAC Championship this Saturday, against Babson College at 1 p.m.
Featured photo courtesy of Sam Leventhal