Volleyball Season Stalls in NEWMAC Quarterfinal at Springfield

Volleyball Season Stalls in NEWMAC Quarterfinal at Springfield

Springfield, MA --- Senior Jennifer Hurwitz (Longmeadow, MA) recorded a double-double for second-seeded Springfield as the host Pride earned a 3-1 (25-12, 23-25, 25-15, 25-19) win against seventh-seeded WPI in a NEWMAC Women's Volleyball Championship Quarterfinal Tuesday night in Blake Arena.

The Pride (27-4), who are ranked third in the NCAA Division II New England regional rankings, advances to the semifinals versus third-seeded Clark at MIT Saturday at 3:30pm.

The Boynton Hillers came out with a vengeance, earning four of the first five points. Springfield then rattled off six of their own before a service error interrupted the spurt. After trading points, a trio of WPI miscues and a kill by junior Kayleigh Helgesen (Oceanside, CA) force a timeout at 13-7 in favor of the hosts. With the Pride ahead 18-12, sophomore Jennifer Donnelly (Exeter, RI) ignited a seven-point outburst to close out the frame with a swipe.

Junior Kat Hurlock (Burlington, CT) broke a 2-2 tie early in the second to hand the Engineers a lead they maintained the rest of the stanza. WPI pushed out to a four point advantage (12-8) forcing a timeout. After the break Springfield, received a pair of kills by Helgesen only to see a pair of miscues and a swipe by senior Maddy Werth (Bedford, MA) make it a five point cushion, causing the Pride to take their final timeout. WPI once again increased its lead to as much as six. Springfield kept inching closer and staved off a pair of set points before sophomore Casey Hunt (Granby, CT) delivered the dagger (WATCH).

The Pride raced out to a 6-2 lead in the third. WPI answered with three points only to be countered by the hosts with a pair. After two more Engineer tallies evened the set at 8-8, Springfield earned took eight of the next 10 points for a 16-10 advantage. Facing a 10-point deficit, WPI totaled five points the rest of the way, including avoiding three set enders, thanks in part to a pair of kills by Hunt and a trio of Pride miscues.

Springfield enjoyed a 6-2 margin to open the fourth. WPI slowly inched closer and was down by one at 8-7. The Pride forged ahead to the victory. The Engineers had multiple serves once courtesy of consecutive kills by Hunt.

Hunt handed in a double-double of 14 kils and 12 digs. Senior Shay Feeley (Franklin, MA) finished with 22 assists and sophomore Azita Bakhtyari (Andover, MA) followed with 16. Senior Cassandra Tomerlin (La Quinta, CA) totaled 15 digs. Freshman Sandra Duarte (Valencia, CA) led all student-athletes with six block assists.

Hurwitz finished with 14 kills and 10 digs while senior Lauren Holt (Granby, CT) and Helgesen each totaled a dozen kills. Freshman Anagabrielle Sanchez (Caguas, Puerto Rico) paced the Pride with 16 digs to go with 12 from  sophomore  Hannah Lozano (Stockton, CA). Senior Marnae Mawdsley (Bolton, CT) doled out 45 assists.

WPI concludes its campaign with a 22-9 record.