Women’s volleyball team breaks Springfield’s eleven-game winning streak

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Photo: Sydney Ciardi

Emerson College Women’s Volleyball team.

By Clarissa Calderon

The women’s volleyball team snapped Springfield College’s 11 game win streak with a 3-0 victory on Saturday, bringing their record on the season to 7-3. 

Entering Saturday’s home game, Emerson had won two games in a row, defeating Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Rivier. With Springfield on a hot streak, the Lions knew they faced an uphill battle to extend their win streak to a third game.

Despite the challenge at hand, the team was confident in their abilities. Head coach Ben Read said his approach to the game was less tactical and more mental.

“We know we have talent here but it’s all about having fun,” Read said in a post game interview. “Sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves to be successful.”

Emerson students turned out en masse dressed in white as part of a “white-out” theme  to show support for the Lions. The energy was high during warmups, with cheers and applause ringing out through the Brown and Plofker gym. 

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As the whistle indicated the start of the game, the action quickly followed. 

Springfield got on the board first, but the score remained close for the entire set. Toward the end of the first set, the Lions were leading 18-16. Springfield would score six straight points, eventually putting themselves up 22-20. The Lions didn’t back down, scoring three times to regain the lead, using that momentum to help them claim the first set 26-24.

Junior middle blocker Logan Steenbergen prevented Springfield from reaching 25 points with a forceful spike. Steenbergen said the team’s goal for this game was to just enjoy it. 

“This is a game to have fun,” Steenbergen said. “If we lose to them, they’re undefeated so it’s kind of expected. We just wanted to have a good time with one another and it was kind of the reason [why] we won. We just wanted to support each other.”

Emerson dominated the second set, building a nine-point lead despite Springfield once again scoring first. The Lions’ first point was credited to Steenbergen and the team continued to carry the momentum it had built in the prior set. Steenbergen said the team capitalized on the offensive side of the ball.

“Our attacking and serving was so incredibly strong,” Steenbergen said. “We started off a bit slow in that first set but after that it definitely picked up and we were able to execute on pretty much every ball.”

The Lions put up a dominant performance and clinched the second set at 25-16. 

Emerson continued this dominant style of play into the beginning of the final set, building a 4-0 lead. Springfield kept the game close and briefly pulled ahead after scoring six straight points. The lead would flip between the colleges until the Lions went on a run, scoring seven points in eight plays to seal their victory. 

First-year pin hitter Amelia Combs was a strong force in the last set. She assisted senior outside hitter Carolyn Vaimoso with the last point of the game, helping the Lions secure a 25-19 win. Combs said the team was successful in beating Springfield because of their hard work. 

“Everybody was doing their job, everybody was going all out and trying their hardest,” Combs said in a post-game interview.

Read said he’s proud of the team and plans to continue this momentum in the following games.

“I’m thrilled,” Read said. “I told the team I’m so happy to see that the hard work we put in and the potential this team has come to fruition. I think [the momentum] will carry on it’s own. We’re going to be prepared, work on what we can do, control what we can control, and hopefully it keeps the wins rolling.”