By Nick Pantages
With a dive into the stands on the first point from senior Claire Dorr, and despite the loss of the point, it was clear how the Pride were going to come out in this contest.
The Pride improved to 8-2 on Friday night with a 3-0 (25-19, 25-21, 25-22) victory over the Trinity Bantams at Blake Arena.
The Pride flew around the court early in the first, opening up an early 10-5 lead behind two strong kills apiece from first-year Maeve Voltz and sophomore Riley Donahue.
Three consecutive errors after an early Trinity timeout let the Bantams back into the game, something that head coach Moira Long pointed out after the game, saying, “We really wanted to focus on unforced errors, I think the first set we didn’t do a very good job of that.”
With the score at 16-15 in favor of Springfield, the Pride went on a 4-0 run to cruise to a 25-19 victory in the first set. It was capped off in a tense and long rally, which culminated in a crafty kill from sophomore Jamie Albrecht, and an aggressive yell of jubilation to go along with it.
The second set was a set of runs, with Springfield jumpstarting a deadlocked 7-7 score into an 11-8 lead, just for the Bantams to pounce and take five of the next six points for a 13-12 lead.
The Pride bounced back with five points in a row, keyed by strong communication by the Pride.
“I think we just have to get refocused, I hate to harp on it but it really comes down to communication and narrating the game,” said Springfield head coach Moira Long.
The Pride ended the second set with a 25-21 victory on another run, with a sweet, crafty, left-handed kill from first-year Megan Kirtyan mixed into the Pride’s surge following a timeout called by Long with the score 20-19.
A big turning point of the second set was the Pride’s 4 blocks.
“I thought we contained some of their middles, like we wanted to, which is good,” Long said.
The Pride ended with 8 total team blocks — each of which seemed to provide a large boost of energy to the home squad, which was motivated by a large roar from the Springfield students in attendance, and loud cheers from the Pride bench.
The third set was highly competitive and stocked with errors, but the Pride went on one of their patented runs with the score 14-13 in favor of Trinity. Springfield scored 7 of the next 8 points to jump out to a 20-15 lead, which was a lead they would not relinquish.
Trinity fought valiantly to stay in the game, but the Pride put an end to the last ditch effort with a fierce kill from Albrecht to put away the feisty Bantams.
Offensively, the Pride were led with 13 kills from Donahue, coming off her third straight NEWMAC Offensive Athlete of the Week award, and defensively with 16 digs from grad student Ally Townsend, a two-time recipient of the NEWMAC Defensive Athlete of the Week.
Consistency and communication were the points of interest from Long following the game.
“I think we always have enthusiasm, we just need more consistent communication, like throughout the entire match…every hitter calling for the ball, it just makes the setters job that much easier,” she said. “Consistency, I think we need to be more consistent [next game].”
The Pride’s next contest takes place on Saturday at 1:00 at Blake Arena, where they will take on the 8-1 Emerson Lions.
Photo: Springfield College Athletics