By D.F. Pendrys
SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Springfield College Women’s Volleyball team continued their undefeated streak Thursday night defeating Wheaton 3 sets to 1 at Blake Arena.
Set 1 would turn Springfield’s way early. The two teams were close in the scoring but after a Wheaton serve into the net to make it 7-5, Springfield started pulling out to a lead they would not relinquish. A big spike by Natalie Billet landed the ball just in bounds for another point, a Wheaton attack error would follow. Abigail Wright would then serve up an ace and the score was 10-5. Springfield would work with this cushion as they built their way towards 25. At the 20-12 mark Wheaton would call time out, but it would not reverse the team’s fortunes. Sara Labadorf sent over a ball that dropped in for a 24th point and Billet ended the set with a kill that the Wheaton defense hit into the ceiling and then couldn’t return. Final set score was 25-15
Set 2 proceeded somewhat similarly. Wheaton hung n early, but Springfield then broke on a run. Kylie Wixted whapped a ball of the hands of the defenders and out of play to break a 4-4 tie, and she followed I up with another kill to make it 6-4. She and Jamie Albrecht then blocked a visitor’s attack to make it 7-4. Labadorf then served an Ace up to extend the lead to 8-4. By the time Wheaton stopped the bleeding Springfield had a lead they weren’t going to give up.
Wheaton did however get closer pushing with a few points thanks to a kill and service ace from Bailey Madrzyk. Springfield called a time out and turned the momentum around. Albrecht and Ashley Tanner responded with two quick kills for points. Billet then launched an Ace up and Albrecht added a cross court smash to get the lead back up to 4. Soon it was set point and a Wheaton attack error ended it.
The Lyons of Wheaton were not interested in being swept and they refused to allow it, going up 7-2 in the third set and leading to a swift Springfield time out. The teams traded points as the Pride tried to get back into the set, but Adara Hamilton of Wheaton set over the ball to get a point and her teammate Ariana Rajaee had an Ace land just in bounds to bring the lead back to 10-5. Springfield got a point back and then they thought they had another, but a rotation error flipped the point and lost them the serve. From then on Wheaton was in control and it was soon 20-9. The Pride refused to give up the set battling the score to 24-16 before Megan Kelleher ended it for the Lyons.
Set 4 began evenly as the two teams ended up tied at 6-6, but a Wheaton attack error opened the door as Springfield took the lead. Wixted and Billet then blocked a Lyon attack, and another Wheaton attack error followed and the Pride had a 9-6 advantage which would be followed by another point and a Wheaton time out. The points kept coming for SC and Wheaton soon called a second time out. The momentum shifted briefly Wheaton’s way, but Wixted hammered the ball from the net to get a point for Springfield and regain a five point lead.
Wheaton tried again to get a run going, but the Pride responded with their own six point run. Wheaton did however hold off a Pride victory by getting the score to 23-18, but Billet blasted the ball off the defenders and then launched another kill off a defending dig to end the set 25-18.
For Springfield Camryn Bancroft had 11 kills, Ashley Tanner had 10, Billet had 9, and Wixted had 7. Wixted hit for .600 kill percentage, Bancroft had .296, and Tanner .280. Labadorf had 33 Assists and Hailey Deguire had 10 Digs. Mac Fornili and Briana Tovar also had 8 Digs a piece. Tovar had 3 Service aces, Labadorf, Billet, and Wright had 2, and Deguire had 1. Wixted had six shared blocks, while Tanner, Albrecht, and Billet had 2 apiece. Labadorf and Bancroft each had 1.
For Wheaton, Hamilton had 9 kills, Madrzyk 8, and Annah Shaheen had 7. Kelleher hit with a .333 kill percentage and Hamilton a .208. Hannah George had 14 assists and Zoë Franz had 12. Franz, Rajaee, and Hamilton all had 2 service aces while Madrzyk, Sophie Wilhelm and Isabel Coca had 1. Hannah George, Hamilton, and Wilhelm each had 10 digs. Haley McGreight shared 3 blocks, Kelleher shared 2, and Madrzyk, Flack, and Hamilton shared one a piece.
Coach Moira Long’s squad is now 8-0 and 1-0 in the NEWMAC while Coach Craig Letourneau’s Wheaton Lyons are now 6-2 and 0-1 in the NEWMAC.
Statistical info from official athletics sources.