SPRINGFIELD, Mass.—Tessa Smolinski had 18 kills and 11 digs while Lauren Holt added 14 kills as Springfield beat Coast Guard 3-1 snapping the Bears six-match winning streak and spoiling first-year head coach Aylene Ilkson's return to her alma mater in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) opener for both teams.
Ilkson, the top assistant at Springfield for the past three seasons, was a four-year starter and a 2008 All-American for the Pride as the team compiled a record of 108-31 overall record during her four years.
Springfield remained unbeaten improving to 9-0 on the season with a 25-18, 22-25, 25-14, 25-17 win while the Bears dropped to 6-3 overall.
Senior Kelsey DePorto had a match-high 20 kills to lead Coast Guard while senior Samantha Marmolejo led the Bears with 18 digs. Sophomore Maggie Hine led the team with 33 assists while junior Elise Sako added ten digs in the loss.
"It was a hard fought effort by our team tonight especially from our senior captains Sam Marmolejo and Kelsey DePorto," said Ilkson. "It's a tough loss to swallow but we are quickly regrouping and looking ahead to our Saturday conference match vs Clark."
Coast Guard is back in action on Saturday with a tri-match at Clark. The Bears will take on the host Cougars at 11 a.m. before battling Keene State at 1 p.m.