Score: Smith 3, Emerson 2
Records: Emerson Lions (18-5 NEWMAC 7-3); Smith Pioneers (21-10, NEWMAC 5-5)
Location: Boston Mass (Brown and Plofker Gym
Date: November 1, 2022
The Lead: Sophomore Amelia Combs racked up a game high 22 kills while Senior Caroline Bond added 42 assists but that was not enough as the Emerson Women's Volleyball team was outlasted by Smith College in five sets on Tuesday evening in the NEWMAC Quarterfinals.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Amelia Combs: 22 kills and 16 digs
Caroline Davis: 21 digs
Caroline Bond: 42 assists and 3 blocks
Logan Steenbergen: 10 kills and 3 blocks
Abby Hunt: 11 kills
Sarah Dankovich: 10 kills and 11 digs
Sophia Padilla: 33 assists
Olivia Teska: 7 blocks
Ava Zollinger: 7 blocks
HOW IT HAPPENED
The first set was one-sided in favor of the Lions. Sophomore Amelia Combs led the Lions offense as she racked up 5 of her game-high 22 kills. The Lions took a 3-2 lead early in the set and never looked back, increasing their lead to 9-points on multiple occasions throughout the set. Smith was unable to get close enough to catch the Lions and Freshman Taylor Esmie ultimately ended the set with a kill, securing a set one victory for the Lions by a score of 25-15.
The Lions were unable to carry any momentum into the second set. The Pioneers were up 8-2 after a 6-0 run highlighted by two Smith aces and a handful of Emerson errors. Seniors Caroline Bond and Logan Steenbergen led the charge to tie the set up at 13-13, but Smith was again able to pull away. Emerson could not gain any late set momentum and dropped set number two by a score of 25-20.
With the match tied at 1-1, the third set began as a back-and-forth battle. Althought the teams traded points, the Lions took an early 3-2 lead and never looked back. A late 5-0 run, followed by a 4-0 run gave the Lions the boost they needed to take a 2-1 match lead. The Lions racked up 16 kills on 33 attempts as they won set three by a score of 25-15
Both sides traded points to begin the third set. Halfway through the set, Smith held a 11-10 lead before rattling off 6 straight points, extending their lead to 17-10. The Lions would get close the Pioneers lad to 6 points, but would ultimately fall by a score of 25-18; tying the match at 2-2.
Smith jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the deciding set. Emerson was forced to call a timeout and regroup. Following the timeout, Kay, Combs, and Steenbergen helped the Lions cut into the Pioneers lead. The Lions got within two points before Smith called a timeout, followed by 7 straight points; increasing their lead to 13-4. The Lions again fought back, scoring five of the next six points. The Smith lead proved to be too big to overcome and the Pioneers were victorious by a score of 15-9 as they advance to the NEWMAC Semi-Finals.
The Lions finish the 2022 campaign with an overall record of 18-5 and a NEWMAC record of 7-3. The Lions reached their highest regional ranking as they came in at #3 during the last week of the regular season. They return a strong, young core as they set their sights on the 2023 season.
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