Springfield, Mass. - September 1, 2017 - The Springfield College women's volleyball team opened up the 2017 season on Friday night with a pair of three-game sweeps in Blake Arena as part of the Springfield College Invitational. The Pride eased past Westfield State before knocking off Rivier to improve to 2-0 on the young season.
Springfield will play at 1:00 pm against an opponent to be determined.
Springfield College 3, Westfield State 0 (25-15, 25-20, 25-9)
Jen Donnelly (Exeter, R.I.) was dominant in her junior-year debut as she recorded 15 kills at a .379 clip to go along with 12 digs and three aces. Classmate Hayley Kmetz (Ardsley, N.Y.) added 10 kills, hitting an impressive .643, while both Bridget Walsh (Garrison, N.Y.) and Laura Townsend (Willington, Conn.) each posted six kills in the middle. The duo of Kayley Cimino (Cumberland, Maine) and Daniela Detore (Lake Grove, N.Y.) combined for 35 assists in leading the Pride to a .425 hitting percentage, and Anagabrielle Sanchez (Caguas, Puerto Rico) led all players with 15 digs. The Pride finished the match with 13 services aces, including a trio from Hannah Lozano (Stockton, Calif.).
Springfield jumped out to a 10-4 lead when Donnelly converted a swing down the line and the lead would grow to 15-8 when she delivered Springfield's fifth ace of the stanza. Donnelly would later seal the 25-15 win when she ripped a cross court kill, her fourth of the frame. As a team, the Pride totaled 14 kills at a .542 clip.
The Owls posted back-to-back aces to gain a 6-3 cushion in the second, but the Pride would snag a 9-8 lead when Walsh put a ball away in transition out of the middle. Donnelly totaled consecutive aces of her own to push Springfield's lead to 16-11, but the Owls would battle back to 19-17 and force the Pride into a timeout. A kill from Townsend at 23-20 made the Owls burn their second timeout, and kills from Walsh and Donnelly wrapped up the 25-20 victory.
Springfield raced to a 6-1 lead thanks to five quick kills from Donnelly and the lead would grow to 12-4 on Kmetz overpass kill. Springfield would ease its way to a 25-9 third-set win as it registered 14 kills, hitting .542.
Springfield College 3, Rivier 0 (25-15, 25-19, 25-22)
Donnelly continued her strong play in the nightcap with 13 kills and seven digs, while Kmetz added 10 kills, eight digs, and five service aces. Sanchez was sensational on the defensive side of the ball, registering 25 digs, while Townsend, Walsh, and Cimino each had four blocks apiece. Cimino and Detore directed the offense with 29 assists en route to a .218 hitting percentage.
The Pride committed five early attack errors to allow Rivier to take a 7-4 lead before a Detore ace knotted things at eight all. Springfield would pour on an 8-4 burst, capped off by a Donnelly overpass kill as the Raiders burned a timeout. Out of the break, Springfield reeled off five-straight points, using a monster stuff from Cimino and Townsend at 20-12 before the Raiders would commit their 10th attack error for the 25-15 set win.
In the second set, Springfield turned a 5-4 advantage into a 14-7 cushion as a 9-3 burst featured a trio of kills from Donnelly. Springfield burned a timeout clinging to a 16-13 lead, but would push its cushion to 19-14 following a Rivier attack miscue. The Pride continued to roll from there, and used back-to-back kills from Walsh to wrap up the 25-19 win as Donnelly totaled six kills and Sanchez anchored the defense with 12 digs.
The hosts wasted no time calling for a timeout trailing 4-1 in the third set, but would benefit from four aces by Kmetz to capture an 8-5 lead. After back-to-back kills pushed the Pride's lead to 20-15, Rivier stormed back to make it a 22-21 contest. However, an error on the ensuing serve and Townsend won a joust at the net to give Springfield match point. Two points later, Springfield forced the visitors into their 22nd attack error of the night to conclude the contest with a 25-22 third-set victory.