NEW LONDON, Conn. – Sophomore Jennifer Donnelly had a match-high 20 kills as Springfield held off Coast Guard 3-2 in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) opener for both schools.
The Pride, the NEWMAC preseason favorite to win the conference, won the first two sets by identical 25-16 scores and looked to sweep the Bears. Coast Guard however would rally back winning 25-22 and 25-23 for force a fifth set which Springfield won 15-13.
In the first set, the Pride (7-2, 1-0) scored six straight to take a 15-6 lead and maintained that lead throughout winning 25-16.
Springfield jumped out to a quick 7-2 lead in the second set and leading 15-9, the Pride scored six of the next eight for a commanding 21-11 lead enroute to the second set win.
In the third set, Springfield led 20-18 and appeared to be on its way to closing out Coast Guard before the Bears scored six straight for a 24-20 lead and won 25-22 and the Bears would take the fourth set 25-23 to force a fifth and deciding set.
The Bears (3-4, 0-1) jumped out to a 7-4 lead in the fifth before Springfield scored six of the next seven for a 10-8 lead. Coast Guard tied it at ten and it remained tied 13-13 before the Pride scored the final two for the win.
Senior Lauren Holt added 13 kills while junior Kayleigh Helgesen finished with 11 kills in the win. Freshman Anagabrielle Sanchez had a match-high 17 digs in the win while senior Marnae Mawdsley had a team-high 23 assists to go with 14 digs and freshman Daniela Detore added 20 assists for the Pride.
Freshman Angelou Dunton tied her career-high with 16 kills to go with ten digs. Freshman Makenna Martin led the team with 15 digs and 41 assists while junior Michelle McGill added 12 digs. Junior Madison Scott had nine kills and a match-high seven blocks for the Bears, who played their third straight five set match.
Coast Guard is back in action on Saturday when the Bears host Clark at 11:00 and Endicott at 3:00.
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