Clarkson Regional: Clarkson, Springfield Advance to Regional Final

Match 5 (Winner Match 1 vs. Winner Match 2): 2:30 pm 

BOX SCORE: Springfield 3, Brockport 0 
Set 1: Springfield 25, Brockport 20
Set 2: Springfield 25, Brockport 21
Set 3: Springfield 25, Brockport 23

Postgame Press Conference video

Game Recap: In a game that swung on the efforts of the middle hitters, Springfield College came out on top with a three-set win over Brockport in the Potsdam, NY Regional Semifinal on Saturday afternoon to advance to Sunday's Regional Final and a potential trip to the NCAA Division III Volleyball Quarterfinals.

The first set was comfortably in Springfield's hands for the majority of the time and the Pride completed a 25-20 win, hlding at least a three-point lead from 17-14 on. The second and third sets were less convincing wins for the Pride as each time Brockport held a late lead only to see it lost in the waning points. In set two Brockport was up by three points (17-14) and still maintained a two-point advantage down the stretch after a kill from Brianna Richardson made it 21-19. However, Springfield scored the final six points of the set, enjoying block assists on two occasions, with Elise Brogan contributing to both. A hitting error put the game on the Pride's side as they went up 2-0. 

The third set once again saw the Golden Eagles edge out in front near the midway point and Brockport led by as many as five late in the set (22-17). Springfield wouldn't go quietly, though, with block assists from Kelsey McGayhey and Lauren Holt delivering the tying point (22-22). Brockport went back up by a point at 23-22 on a kill from Kayla Barber, but Springfield tied the match on a kill from McGayhey and then capitalized on two errors to take the final set.

Springfield middle hitters enjoyed impressive performances on offense and defense, with Elise Brogan hitting .625 (5-0-8) with five block assists and Lauren Holt hitting .500 (8-2-12) with five block assists. Kayleigh Helgeson also was just below .500 with a 7-1-14 line with four block assist and Jennifer Hurwitz added six kills for the Pride. Molly Giannattasio and Marnae Mawdsley combined for 32 assists (19-13) and Hannah Lozano produced 13 digs. For Brockport, Brianna Richardson went 10-3-17 from the middle and Ashley Capone also added nine kills. Kayla Barber and Sam Holdrdedge each delivered nine kills from the outside, with Noelle Poloncarz running the offense to the tune of 32 assists. Kathleen Irwin had 17 digs. 

#3 The College at Brockport Golden Eagles (2015 Record: 34-1; Ninth NCAA Appearance, First Since 2006)
(State University of New York Athletic Conference Champions - Automatic Bid)
Roster  Stats  Schedule
#2 Springfield College Pride (2015 Record: 30-3; 11th NCAA Appearance, Sixth Straight)
(New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference Semifinalists - Pool C At-Large Bid)
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Match 6 (Winner Match 3 vs. Winner Match 4): 5:00 pm  (LIVE VIDEO)  (LIVE STATS)

Results: Clarkson 3, Ithaca 1
Set 1: Ithaca 25, Clarkson 23
Set 2: Clarkson 25, Ithaca 23
Set 3: Clarkson 25, Ithaca 22
Set 4: Clarkson 25, Ithaca 20

Postgame Press Conference video

Game Story: For the first time all weekend, a match wasn't limited to three sets as Ithaca College put the New York Region on notice with a strong effort against the top seed Clarkson University, but the Golden Knights were able to eek out a four-set win against Ithaca to advance to the Potsdam, NY Regional Finals.

Clarkson came out strong in the first set and appeared ready to blow Ithaca right out of the gym with a 14-4 lead, but the Bombers chipped away and rallied all the way back to tie the score at 21-21. The score was once again tied up at 22-22, but Ithaca got a pair of kills from Amanda Cerruti and closed out the set with a kill from Joelle Goldstein to complete the improbably comeback. The second set was the complete opposite as it was Ithaca that found itself up by six points late (21-15), but the Golden Knights likewise didn't panic thanks to kills from Lauren Hutchinson that allowed the set to get tied up at 23-23. An ace by Tara Stilwell and a kill from Rachael Aird finished off the set for Clarkson.

The third set of the match was all about offense as the two teams went back and forth, trading kills on quick attacks. Neither team gained much of a foothold until Clarkson turned a 16-16 tie into a four-point lead (20-16). Up by five after an ace from Kirstie Shurie (23-18), Ithaca scored four of the next five points to tighten thins up but a kill from Hutchinson was the closer, giving the Knights a 2-1 advantage. The fourth set was a game of runs as Rachael Aird had a strong stretch from the servince line with four straight aces, but the Bombers counteracted that run with a 9-2 momentum shift to take a 17-13 lead. That was quickly altered as well as Clarkson scored five straight points to reclaim the lead at 18-17. Although the two teams exchanged points for a while, Clarkson scored the final five, highlighted by a pair of kills from Aishvina Arasu that changed the structure of the match. The Knights closed things out as Aird added a sixth ace to her performance.

Aird had 10 kills, six aces and five total blocks, including two solo efforts, while Hutchinson hit .360 (11-2-25) and Arasu had a team-best 17 kills. Kirstie Shurie was a dynamic player on offense and defense with 45 assists and 12 digs, while Tara Stilwell led the way with 13 digs. For Ithaca, Joelle Goldstein had a double-double with 20 kills and 10 digs, taking 51 swings over the course of the match. Amanda Cerruti tossed in seven kills and six block assists and Katie Evans also had six total blocks. Kayla Gromen produced 37 assists and 10 digs while Dylan Gawinski-Stern had 14 digs. 

#4 Ithaca College Bombers (2015 Record: 31-4; 18th NCAA Appearance, First Since 2010)
(Empire 8 Champions - Automatic Bid)
Roster  Stats  Schedule
#1 Clarkson University Golden Knights (2015 Record: 28-8; Seventh NCAA Appearance, Seventh Straight)
(Liberty League Champions - Automatic Bid)
Roster  Stats  Schedule  Game Notes (PDF)