SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Amherst College used 10 kills each from Samantha Newby '16 and Nicole Gould '17, but Springfield College received a match-high 18 kills from Kelsey McGayhey to help the Pride clinch a hard-fought 3-2 (24-26, 27-25, 26-28, 25-18, 15-11) victory over the Jeffs in Friday evening's Springfield Invitational women's volleyball match at Blake Arena.
With the loss, Amherst begins its season 0-1, while Springfield improves to 2-0 overall. The Jeffs return to Springfield Invitational action on Saturday when they take on Johnson & Wales at 10 a.m. at Blake Arena.
Amherst claimed the first set 26-24 before Springfield evened the match at one set apiece following a 27-25 victory in the second frame.
The Pride then roared out to a 5-0 lead in the third set and led by as many as seven (10-3) following a kill by Jamie Schneck. The Jeffs rallied to stake a 23-21 lead in the stanza but Springfield responded with three straight points to notch a 24-23 edge. The sides played to three more deadlocks before the Pride came away with a 28-26 win.
The Purple & White responded in the fourth set jumping out to a 16-10 lead following a service ace by Asha Walker '18. Springfield answered with a 6-1 run capped by a McGayhey kill to pull the Pride to within one at 17-16. Leading 20-18, the Jeffs scored the next five points highlighted by a kill from Newby, a block assist from Newby and Walker, and a service ace from Kelci Keeno '17 to set the score at 25-18 and force a decisive fifth frame.
In the fifth stanza, the sides battled to eight ties and a 9-9 score before Springfield pulled away scoring five of the next six points to set the score at 14-10. A kill by Amherst's Maggie Danner '17 narrowed the deficit to 14-11, but McGayhey delivered her 18th kill of the match to seal the victory.
Danner and Walker finished with eight kills each behind the 10 kills from Newby and Gould, while junior setter Nicole Carter handed out a team-high 25 assists. Kate Bres '17 added 18 helpers, while Katie Warshaw '16 amassed 34 of the team's 82 digs in the losing effort.
Lauren Holt finished with 17 kills and Elise Brogan added 13 for the Pride, while Molly Giannattasio dished out 31 assists. Meghan Kinee led Springfield with 27 digs, Jennifer Hurwitz added 14 digs and Giannattasio chipped in 11 digs. Holt was stellar at the net as well rising up for six assisted blocks.