By Chris Gionta
Springfield College women’s volleyball lost their match to Clark at Blake Arena on Tuesday night, 3-1. They lost the first and second set, 26-24, won the third set, 25-17, and lost the fourth set, 25-23.
Springfield came into Tuesday’s game looking to break the stigma of their three-game losing streak. The first set was very back-and-forth, as no team had a lead of more than four for the entire set. Despite a late four-point streak that tied the set at 21-21, along with the Pride being set up for match point when it was 24-23, Clark was the team that ended up closing out the set with a 26-24 set victory.
The second set saw some lineup changes. There was already a new starting defensive specialist for the game in first-year Hailey Deguire, then the Blake Arena crowd saw significant playing time from sophomore Taylor Harris, sophomore Mac Fornilli, and first-year Jamie Albrecht.
“I think we needed to go to kids that were going to perform,” said Springfield head coach Moira Long. “I think we just had starters who just really struggled in the first set, so I was like ‘Alright, I’m going to mix it up a little bit.’”
Springfield reacted to these changes well performance-wise, as they began the set with a 13-7 lead to force a Clark timeout. However, Clark’s timeout was productive as they went on a four-point streak and forced a Springfield timeout. The Pride held onto the lead for the majority of the second set, but Clark took control late. After Springfield took a 23-21 lead, Clark scored three consecutive points, and after a Natalie Billet kill to tie it, Clark executed two consecutive kills to win the set, 26-24.
Springfield found their groove in the third set and got out to a 17-8 lead early, and cruised to a 25-17 set victory. This was powered by six Billet kills along with a service ace.
Unfortunately for Springfield, the momentum did not carry. Clark was able to reset and get out to a 9-3 lead in the fourth set. They kept the lead well into the set, and the match was seemingly over when it was 23-17. However, after three Harris kills and three service aces from Abigail Wright, the set was tied. But, Clark ended up winning the set by two one final time to win the match, 3-1.
It was surely an interesting match, as overall on the day, Springfield scored more points than Clark, but still lost the match, 3-1.
They also had an eclectic mix of contributors. Harris had a career-high 11 kills, Albrecht had a career-high 8 kills, and Deguire had a career-high 30 digs. Overall, Billet led the way with a career-high 21 kills.
In order to snap the losing streak, Long looks to step up the play in certain areas.
“I think where we need to improve upon is our serving,” said Long. “We just serve to get it in instead of serving with purpose, and I think we need score points not just hope to get it in. I thought Abigail Wright did a really good job on that run on the end. She served with purpose but I think we need to be way more purposeful.”
The Pride will be back on the court on Thursday at Gordon at 7 p.m. Their next time at Blake Arena is on October 14 at 7 p.m. against Johnson & Wales.
Photo: Lucy Hamilton/The Student