CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In a hard-fought New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's volleyball match on Tuesday night, visiting Springfield College emerged with a 23-25, 26-24, 25-22, 25-19 victory over MIT. The loss lowered the Engineers' ledger to 10-7 on the year and 2-2 in conference play while the Pride improved to 14-2 overall and 4-0 in the NEWMAC.
With the opening frame tied at six, Springfield mounted a 10-4 run which later resulted in a timeout by MIT. Following the break, the Engineers chipped away at the deficit and capitalized on a pair of miscues to even the set at 20. Each side traded points as strike by Lauren Torvi put Springfield ahead, 23-22. The Cardinal and Gray rallied with three straight points to capture the set.
In the second set, MIT gradually established a 9-6 edge. The Pride responded with a 13-3 run to establish its largest margin of the night (19-12). The Engineers then strung together seven consecutive points, featuring four kills by Trinity Leonard, to even the score at 19. After a Springfield timeout, Tessa Smolinski registered back-to-back kills to give her squad some breathing room. MIT stayed within striking distance and eventually knotted the frame at 23 on a kill from Jenny Li and hitting error by the Pride. A service error gave Springfield set point, but a hit from Kelly Schulte off the visitors' block extended the set. Heather Lively registered a kill while Torvi and Kim Giaquinto collaborated for a block to clinch the game.
MIT quickly created a 6-2 lead in the third frame, but the Pride recorded nine out of the next 10 points to go ahead for good. The Engineers narrowed the gap to one on seven occasions, the last at 21-20. What proved to be Torvi's third consecutive kill coupled with a hitting miscue by the hosts prompted a timeout by MIT. The Engineers capitalized on a service error; however a hitting error resulted in set point (24-21). A hit from Kelly Schulte extended the game, but Smolinski's strike secured the win.
Springfield jumped out to a 12-6 advantage in the final set, but MIT countered with an 11-6 spurt to close the gap to one (18-17). The Pride generated a late rally to score seven of the last nine points of the night.
Leonard tallied 16 kills, three blocks, and two aces while Li posted 15 kills. Schulte notched seven kills and two blocks as Cecily Joujon-Roche contributed four blocks and two aces. Sharon Hao totaled 36 assists and six digs while Katie Spielbauer collected 12 digs. Kate Kelly and Natasha Jensen both earned a pair of aces as Kelly added six digs. Emma Gargus rounded out the Engineers' defense with two blocks.
Torvi finished with 12 kills, followed by 11 from Sarah Lang-Rodean. Smolinski registered 11 kills and five digs while Meaghan Hart paced the Pride with 11 digs. Kelsea Hellyar dished out 44 assists in the win.
Both squads will return to non-conference competition this weekend. MIT will travel to Stevens Institute of Technology for the Ducks Invitational while Springfield will do battle at the Johnson & Wales University Invitational.