Led by sixth-year head coach Sonnie Terrell, the Mount Holyoke College volleyball team posted an 11-17 record in 2013. The Lyons, who captured victories in each of their first eight contests, also recorded a 1-9 mark in NEWMAC play.
The campaign began with victories over Bay Path and Lyndon State in tri-match action. Sophomore outside hitter Emma Sweeting paced the way with a combined 19 kills. Following a 3-0 victory at Newbury, the Lyons headed I-91 and kept their winning streak alive, besting Mitchell and Saint Joseph. Sweeting once again boasted 19 combined kills, while junior captain Kaleen Iwema had 14 kills and 25 digs in the two matches.
Another road win, this time at MCLA, set the stage for MHC's home opener. The Lyons opened with a win over Westfield State and went on to defeat UMass-Dartmouth in the final game of the tri-match. Iwema had a combined 20 kills and 26 digs. She recorded 16 in the last match against the Corsairs, serving as one of four Lyons' players with 11 or more digs.
Mount Holyoke faced a tough stretch following the tri-match, opening its NEWMAC schedule against one of the toughest conferences in Division III. An opening loss to Babson gave way to an incredible five-set defeat at the hands of conference newcomer, Emerson. In that match, three Lyons, led by senior outside hitter Martina Kneifel (15 kills) recorded double-digits kill totals, while four had 10 or more digs, led by first year Athena Donta (14).
The Lyons jumped back into the win column after an eight-game stretch, posting a five-set victory over Bryn Mawr during day one of the Seven Sisters Championship, hosted by MHC, who finished fourth overall. Both Sweeting and Iwema were named to the All-Tournament Team.
After another challenging span of games, Mount Holyoke heded into its annual Volleyball Hall of Fame Tournament fresh off a 3-0 win at Elms. Against the Blazers, Sweeting laid down a game-best seven kills.
The Lyons battled hard in Hall of Fame Tournament action, forcing all three of their matches to four sets. Kneifel garnered All-Tournament Team honors for the second straight season after recording a combined 45 kills and 48 digs.
Mount Holyoke concluded its 2013 season with victory, snapping a winless streak in NEWMAC action at WPI by a 3-1 margin. Kneifel rained down match-highs in both kills (16) and digs (20) to lead the Lyons.
Individually, Sweeting paced the Lyons in kills, laying down 257 over 28 matches played. She also recorded a team-best 35 blocks. Kneifel owned a team-high 2.84 kills per set average through 23 matches, while Iwema boasted team-best's in both service aces (51) and digs (356). Additionally, first year Natalie Lyon was a key factor in the setter position, recording a squad-high 519 assists.
Academically, the Lyons saw five student-athletes named to the NEWMAC Academic All-Conference squad, including Kneifel, junior middle hitter Rebecca Bland, sophomore defensive specialist Annakate Schatz, senior captain and middle hitter Kristina Weld and junior setter Stephany Yang.
• Finished 10th in the NEWMAC standings
• Posted wins over Bay Path, Lyndon State, Newbury, Mitchell, St. Joseph, MCLA, Westfield State, UMass-Dartmouth, Bryn Mawr, Elms and WPI
• Finished fourth at Seven Sisters Championships
• Seven Sisters All-Tournament Team – Emma Sweeting '16 & Kaleen Iwema '15
• Hall of Fame All-Tournament Team – Martina Kneifel '14
• Five student-athletes named to the NEWMAC Academic All-Conference