Volleyball Shoulders Road Loss To Smith College

Joy Maran
Northampton, Mass. - The Smith College volleyball team claimed a five set victory over Mount Holyoke College in its New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) finale against Mount Holyoke College at Ainsworth Gymnasium on Tuesday evening. The Pioneers won by set scores of 25-22, 19-25, 18-25, 25-14, 15-13).
The win boosted Smith's record to 11-16, 1-9 in conference play, while the Lyons fall to 10-11, 1-8.
First-year Caleigh Johnson (Georgetown, Tex./St. Dominic Savio Catholic) was credited with a career-high 20 kills, hitting .432 for the match, while senior Elizabeth Peay (Lebanon, Conn./Lyman Memorial) also finished in double digits with 17 kill. Sophomore setter Kimani Freeman (Newark, N.J./Montclair Kimberly Academy) paced the offense with a career-high 47 assists, and senior Sakura Tamaki (New York, N.Y./Fiorello H. LaGuardia) led the defensive efforts with a career-high 30 digs.

For the Lyons, Jamesa Allen (Orlando, Fla./Lake Nona) and Sasha Simine (Kitchener, Ont./Cameron Heights Collegiate Institute) totaled 17 and 12 kills, respectively. First year setter Brayden Walden recorded a season and career-high 42 assists and junior outside hitter Joy Maran (Santa Fe, N.M./Santa Fe Prep) added 20 digs.

The first set was tightly contested with 16 ties. Mount Holyoke scored four straight points to take an 18-16 advantage on a kill from Allen. Two kills and two service aces made the score 20-19 in the Pioneers favor as Smith would go on to win 25-22. In the second set, Mount Holyoke jumped out to an 8-4 lead, but Smith would go on to score six of the next seven points to take a one point lead at 10-9. Mount Holyoke would earn their largest lead of the set at 24-15 on a block from Allen and Simine and tied the match at 1-1.

The Lyons hit a match-high .286 in the third set compared to Smith's .097 hitting percentage as Mount Holyoke went on to win 25-18, but Smith had their best offensive effort in the fourth, hitting .275 with 16 kills. A 10-1 lead propelled the Pioneers to close out the set 25-14. 

Mount Holyoke went up 5-3 in the fifth set, but Smith rallied back with three-straight points, including a pair of kills from Xela Miller (Grenada Hills, Calif./James Monroe). Simine's kill tied the set at 10-10, but the Pioneers would gain momentum as Freeman recorded a kill and service ace to make it 12-10. Caleigh Johnson (Georgetown, Tex./St. Dominic Savio Catholic) closed out the match with a kill to give Smith their first NEWMAC win of the season.
Mount Holyoke will play in its regular season finale on Saturday at 1:00pm against Babson.