November 6, 2009

Wellesley Fights off Springfield, 3-1, in NEWMAC Semifinal

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – No. 2–seeded Wellesley College defeated No. 3 Springfield College, 25-14, 25-23, 22-25, 25-17, in semifinal action of the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Women’s Volleyball Championship Tournament hosted by MIT on Friday. The victory puts the Blue (22-9) in the title match for the third year in a row where it will take on top-seeded MIT on Saturday, Nov. 7.

Elizabeth Campbell led the way for Wellesley with 17 kills while Alice Kate Cummings posted 13 digs and 12 kills. Amanda Durtisch and Taylor King each posted five blocks as Naomi Iwata notched seven digs. Isabel Custodio and Victoria Peng shared setting duties, finishing with 28 and 17 assists, respectively.

Lauren Torvi led Springfield (27-7) with 15 kills, followed by Sarah Lang-Rodean (11) and Heather Lively (nine). Meaghan Hart registered 14 digs for the Pride.

Wellesley maintained a slight edge during the early stages of the contest until it posted a 7-2 spurt that resulted in a 13-7 advantage. Springfield picked up the next five points, but the Blue responded with a 12-2 run to close out the set.

Trailing 4-2 in the second stanza, the Pride registered eight out of the next nine points for a 10-5 lead. Wellesley slowly chipped away at the deficit and used six unanswered points to go ahead, 22-17. Springfield capitalized on miscues by the Blue to come within one (23-22). A kill by Campbell gave Wellesley set point, before each squad traded sideouts to end the game.

The Pride held a small lead throughout the first half of the third set, until a 6-1 spurt put the Blue up, 15-14. Springfield recorded four out of the next five points to reclaim its advantage, but Wellesley notched five straight points to go ahead, 21-18. The Pride responded with a 7-1 run that was capped by an ace from Chelsea Barnicle to close the set.

Both sides traded points to start the fourth set before the Blue used a 4-1 spurt to take a 9-7 edge. The exchange of points resumed until Wellesley mounted a 6-1 run that increased its margin to 17-11. Springfield came within four on a pair of occasions, the last at 19-15. The Blue countered by scoring six of the last eight points with strikes by Cummings setting up and then clinching match point.