NORTHAMPTON, Mass. - Despite a first set win and a match-best 14 kill performance from senior captain Emma Sweeting, the Mount Holyoke College volleyball team was unable to grab the victory, falling to Smith College by a 3-1 margin in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Tuesday.
With the win, the Pioneers are now 5-21 and 1-8 in conference play, while the Lyons slip to 7-15 and 0-9 in the NEWMAC.
It was a solid start for MHC, who opened the match with a 25-20 set victory. The Lyons trailed but battled back to take a 9-8 lead on a kill by first year Jamesa Allen. A pair of kills from Sweeting pushed the advantage further in MHC's favor and two more kills from Allen tipped the scale in the Lyons favor as they secured the win.
The second set saw Smith post a 25-22 victory. Down by a 24-21 margin, Sweeting laid down a critical kill, but a counter attack by the Pioneers' Mei-Li Smith gave the home team the set victory and tie the match at 1-all. It was another close one in the third frame as the Pioneers once again grabbed a 25-22 win. Sweeting forced a 22-22 tie, but three straight points for Smith sealed the set win, including another kill from Smith.
In the fourth set, the Lyons took advantage of several Smith errors, rallying from an 11-4 deficit to take a 15-12 lead. The Pioneers were able to battle back, sealing the set victory by a 25-21 margin for the match victory.
Sweeting recorded 15 digs, two service aces and an assist, in addition to her match-best 14 kills. Allen had 11 kills, six digs and three block solos in the match, while first year Sara Robicheau had a match-high 23 digs. Junior Natalie Lyon also recorded 34 assists with three service aces and 15 digs.
Mount Holyoke concludes its regular season schedule on Saturday, traveling to WPI for a 1pm NEWMAC match against the Engineers.