Experiencing a devastating defeat within a conference tournament can create tears of sadness and what ifs, but for the Springfield College women’s volleyball team, those tears were tears of joy as they secured a second consecutive shot at a national championship.
“It was silence and a wonder of ‘does that say Springfield?’” Long stated with enthusiasm. “Then it was pure elation; everyone jumped up. There were tears of joy. It was awesome.”
Aside from a 26-7 record, Springfield’s sweat and immense dedication to the sport of volleyball ultimately granted them with the three seed.
To start their quest for the title, Springfield will begin with the sixth-seeded Roger Williams University.
“We deserve the three seed honestly,” the second-year coach determinedly added. “We really played a tough schedule to prepare us for this tournament.”
Within the field of 64 teams, the Pride could come across a complication, but through encounters with Salisbury University and Bowdoin College, the team feels like they are in good hands in terms of expectations.
Long and company know what is at stake. With that being said, they must take their consistent game-by-game mentality and apply it throughout the contests.
“I think we can make a title happen by remembering what has made us successful throughout this year,” Consol confidently commented. “We talk about running tempo and defense. I think we can stick to the game plan and how to beat every team. We can make this a reality.”
Springfield has the players on the court to make this fantasy transform into a reality, including three members of the All-NEWMAC team: junior outside hitter Tess Smolinski, senior middle blocker Mary Consol and sophomore setter Molly Giannattasio.
“We need to remember everything that we practiced and everything we worked for,” said Tess Smolinski, the three-time NEWMAC Player of the Week. “Also, [we need to] remind ourselves of how good we are.”
The stage is set for New London, Conn. Springfield will go toe-to-toe with Roger Williams University at 3 p.m. on Saturday.