|Maddie Stewart helped the Jumbos with six kills on Friday night|
MEDFORD – In a battle of two of the top teams in New England Springfield College pulled out a 3-0 win over Tufts University on Friday night in Cousens Gymnasium. The Pride were led by 11 kills from Kayleigh Helgesen in the three set win.
With the loss the Jumbos fall to 19-2 overall and are still 9-0 in NESCAC play. The Pride are now 22-3 overall with an 8-1 mark in NEWMAC play. Tonight's match was the first of the New England Challenge for both teams. The Jumbos will take on MIT and Babson tomorrow, while the Pride play Middlebury and Williams tomorrow at MIT.
The first set was extremely close, as the two teams would exchange the lead for most of the set. The score was tied five times early on between the Jumbos and the Pride. With things locked at 14, the Pride would take the 17-14 lead thanks to a kill from Helgesen, an ace from Hannah Lozano and a Jumbo error. With the Pride up 19-16 the Jumbos got two kills from senior McKenzie Humann to come within one, 19-18, but the visitors were able to hold on to the lead and earned the 25-21 win.
The second set was very much the same as the two teams would exchange the lead early. Again, with things tied at 14 the Pride would take the lead, this time courtesy of a Helgesen kill and two Jumbo errors. The Jumbos came back once again, and pulled within one (19-18) thanks to a kill from freshman Maddie Stewart and a Pride error, but the Pride once again held on to the lead for the 25-21 lead.
The pattern stayed true in the third set as well as things were close between the Jumbo and the Pride for the majority of the set with the two teams trading the lead. With things locked at 18 the Jumbos took a 21-18 lead after two Pride errors and a kill from freshman Brigid Bell. The Pride answered back with a two kills from Helgesen and a kill from Laura Townsend and were able to hold on to the lead to pick up another 25-21 win.
Helgesen led the Pride with 11 kills while Hayley Kmetz finished with ten and Lauren Holt added eight to the offensive efforts. Holt also tallied five blocks on the evening. Anagabrielle Sanchez was the defensive leader with 22 digs and Kmetz added 11. Marnae Mawdsley took care of the setting for the Pride, finishing with 32 assists.
For the Jumbos, senior Elizabeth Ahrens was the offensive leader with nine kills. Bell added eight and Stewart tallied six across the three sets. Humann and Ahrens each finished with three blocks. Freshman Kelly Klimo was the defensive leader with 13 digs as sophomore Angela Yu added 11. Yu and classmate Katie Zheng took care of the setting, with Yu finishing with 18 assists and Zheng adding 13. Junior Alex Garrett tallied three service aces for the Jumbos.
Both teams will continue play in the New England Challenge tomorrow at MIT. The Jumbos start at 10:30 am against MIT and follow that with a 3 pm contest against Babson. The Pride face off with Middlebury at 10:30 am and will then take on Williams at 3 pm.