By Liam Reilly
SPRINGFIELD – The Springfield College women’s volleyball team fell to MIT on Sunday Nov. 12 at Blake Arena. The loss moves the Pride to 26-4 overall.
The top two teams of the NEWMAC raced out to a 9-9 tie in the opening set. MIT took advantage of errors by Springfield to go up 20-18 – but an important kill from Maeve Voltz and an ace from Morgan Stafford wrapped up the 25-21 set win for the Pride.
Set two saw the Pride up 10-7 thanks to kills from Riley Donahue and Voltz. A Tori Colosimo kill surged Springfield to a 21-14 lead. The final strike was a powerful blow delivered by Donahue that triumphed the Pride to a 25-15 victory.
With their backs against the wall, the Engineers jumped out to a 6-1 lead to open up the third set.
Springfield was never able to close the lead and failed to bounce back from the hole they were in, faltering 25-14.
The fourth set saw MIT build another early lead, but the Pride stormed back to knot the score at 12. Donahue took over the middle of the set, raining down a powerful trifecta of kills and an ace to put her team up 19-17.
Both teams traded points back and forth in front of the boisterous Blake Arena crowd, but to their dismay, it was MIT who eventually prevailed, taking the set 28-26.
The sight of the NEWMAC trophy overlooked the fifth set, with both teams shooting quick glances back to the glimmering trophy during the break before the fifth set.
After building a 9-6 lead, the Engineers began to pull away as Springfield’s offense faltered – taking the set 15-8 and winning the NEWMAC championship.
Despite the loss, Springfield coach Moira Long is proud of her squad.
“We’ve made leaps and bounds emotionally, mentally and physically,” Long said. “At the start of Spring we were figuring out what our culture would be. I think our team did an outstanding job from that moment to where we are now, in really believing in each other and our core values.”
Even with the loss, the Pride can still qualify for the Division III NCAA tournament. Long spoke on what the team has to work on before their next potential game.
“As for things we need to build on, we need to finish the fourth set out,” Long said. “We had every opportunity and had set points but miscommunication got in the way. I think it’s being able to be in that moment and be calm and refreshed and ready to take the point.”
Springfield will have their fate determined on Monday Nov. 13 during the Division III National Women’s Volleyball Tournament Selection Show at 1 p.m.
Photo courtesy of Springfield Athletics.