SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – Double-digit kills from three players propelled Smith College past Mount Holyoke College, 3-1 in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) volleyball action on Tuesday night. With the win, the Pioneers improve to 4-21 overall and 1-8 in the conference, while MHC slips to 5-15 overall and 0-9 in the NEWMAC.
For Smith, junior outside hitter Xela Miller (Grenada Hills, Calif./James Monroe) and first year outside hitter Kimani Freeman Newark, N.J./Montclair Kimberly Academy) both posted a match-high, 15 kills. Junior middle hitter Elizabeth Peay (Lebanon, Conn./Lyman Memorial) also had double-digit kills with 10. Senior libero Julie Voorhes (Ramona, Calif./Ramona) and junior outside hitter Michelle Wong (San Francisco, Calif./Lowell) both led the match with 21 digs each.
Sophomore outside hitter Jamesa Allen (Orlando, Fla./Lake Nona) led the way for the Lyons, posting 13 strikes, and also earned a match-high, five service aces. Sophomore middle hitter Sarah Caggiano (Leonardtown, Md./Leonardtown) had 11 kills, while senior captain and setter Natalie Lyon (Oakton, Va./Flint Hill School) led MHC with 32 assists. Mount Holyoke saw five players reach double-digits in digs.
After the Pioneers won a competitive first set, MHC started the second stanza scoring five straight points. Smith quickly closed the gap and went on to take a 9-5 lead, powered by three kills from Miller. The Pioneers went up by as much as five before the Lyons stormed back to take a 21-19 lead after four straight service aces from Allen. Smith gave MHC the final point following a service error to tie the game, 1-1.
The third set saw Mount Holyoke get out to a 9-2 advantage, but Smith found its way back, tying the game at 16-all. Three straight points for the Pioneers later in the set tied the game once again at 21 apiece. A pair of kills by Peay and junior outside hitter Maca Rojas (Santiago, Chile/Liceo No. 1 Javiera Carrera) put Smith up by two before an attack error by the Lyons ended the set.
Heading into the final stanza up 2-1, the Pioneers got out to a 9-4 advantage. MHC got as close as two points before Smith extended the lead to 18-13. Mount Holyoke inched back to tie the game at 24-all after two back-to-back kills from Caggiano. An attack error by the Lyons and a deciding kill form Freeman ended the set 26-24 in favor of the Pioneers.
MHC will compete in its final game of the regular season on Saturday at 1:00pm, facing WPI at home. Smith will travel to the University of St. Joseph on Thursday at 7:00pm.