The Springfield College women’s volleyball team continues to be impressive at home after sinking NEWMAC Smith College’s ship 3-1 (23-25, 25-17, 25-11, 25-16) in Blake Arena Tuesday night.
Overcoming adversity is something Moira Long’s team (26-1 at home) has not been accustomed to on James Naismith Court. With that being said, an obstacle was given to the Pride.
That barrier entailed a set one beating. Essentially, Smith College established a foundation in the beginning stage of the match. Freshman outside hitter Mei-Li Smith, finished with 13 kills, 16 assists, and 12 digs. Additionally, she recorded six kills and three assists in the first set, giving her team an uprising confidence.
“We have been working on the defense and holding ourselves accountable having high expectations,” Smolinski strongly stated. “Once we reminded ourselves of those things, we just took it.”
Subsequently, that was all the fun and glory the Pioneers could display as the Pride showed dominance the rest of the way.
Behind the emergence of freshman middle blocker Elise Brogan, and experienced junior outside hitter Tessa Smolinski, Springfield never looked back.
In terms of Brogan, she positioned herself for success, whether it was her forte of backslides or middle attacks. Ultimately, the first-year player finished with 15 kills consisting of a .583 hitting percentage.
“[Brogan] was unbelievable,” the second-year coach stated. “We have been saying to her all year ‘the slide is going to be your go-to.’ I just kept telling her it’s coming, it’s coming. I was so pleased with her performance.”
Smolinski , last week’s NEWMAC Volleyball Player of the Week, stuck with the fundamentals and her intelligence on the horizons, tallying for 13 kills, seven digs, and four aces.
“It’s really all about my teammates and how we have been,” the third-player added. “We have been practicing so hard on defense. The award is a team award.”
Strong performances were assessed in the victory from Molly Giannattasio’s 49 assist contribution to senior middle blocker Mary Consol cashing in for 10 kills with a .400 hitting percentage.
“We talked how to be more mentally prepared on the road,” Long crucially added. “Being able to reflect on our play in past tournaments will be huge to be ready for the invitational.”
The Pride will look to keep the ball rolling when they travel to Northampton, Mass. for the Volleyball Hall of Fame Invitational competing against tough Division III opponents Amherst College, Williams College and Middlebury College.