In commanding fashion the Springfield College women’s volleyball team pulled away with an enormous and vital 3-1 victory against NEWMAC opponent MIT (10-2) on Tuesday.
Right from the beginning, there was an essence of urgency at the net offensively and defensively. Senior middle blocker Mary Consol, sophomore setter Whitney Miller (41 assists) and sophomore outside hitter Tessa Smolinski (18 kills total) all rose to the occasion winning game one 25-21.
Springfield’s momentum didn’t necessarily translate into the second game. Instead, the Pride gave up a 23-20 lead in the closing points of game two. Ultimately, the Engineers took advantage of the miss hits and errors of the Pride. MIT’s junior middle blocker Kristine Bunker and freshman outside hitter Meryl Gibbs led the way with a combined total of 14 kills to seal a game two victory.
Whenever you approach the third set in the duration of any volleyball match, there has to be a sense of urgency in obtaining a 2-1 lead going into game four and that is exactly what the Pride did. Led by a middle defensive presence, the Pride established a hand on the ball, whether it was a block or a tip in the air.
“Our defense starts off with our blocks,” Miller proudly commented. “We just kept shutting them down and they had no way to respond to us. They just died out.”
Essentially, the Pride came out with a dominating emphasis in the final set. Long’s team knew the match was in their game, they just to close it out. In the end, Springfield came out victorious with a 25-21 game four victory.
Springfield will travel to Cambridge for the MIT Invitation where they will compete against Bowdoin College (7-0) on Friday at 5 p.m. Others will follow like Endicott College (1-8), Tufts University (4-2), and Bates College (5-3).
“Going into the weekend, we will really see some real great competition,” the second year coach stated. “It’s nice to have a close match today and really have to focus and bear down.”