NEW LONDON, Conn. – U.S. Coast Guard Academy senior Susan West (Jacksonville Beach, Fla.) had a team-high 13 kills to lead the Bears to a 3-1 (25-13, 22-25, 25-15, 25-21) win over Wellesley College volleyball in a New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play on Tuesday night.
Coast Guard improves to 17-10 overall and 6-3 in the conference with their third consecutive win. Wellesley drops to 12-14 on the season and 5-4 in the NEWMAC with one game to play before the start of the postseason tournament.
Junior Madison Scott (Lusby, Md.) added 12 kills and six aces for the Bears. First year Alexi Deane (Cooper City, Fla.) chipped in with ten kills and junior Emma Saunders (LaGrange, Ill.) added eight more. Junior Michelle McGill (Atlantic Beach, Fla.) and sophomore Hailye Reynolds (Groesbeck, Texas) each had 12 digs to lead the Bears on defense. First year Makenna Martin (Granbury, Texas) dished out a match-high 43 assists to pace the Bears' attack.
Sophomore Yasmine Reece (New Rochelle, N.Y.) recorded a match-high 15 kills for the Blue, while first year Meghan Shoop (Cypress, Calif.) fnished one kill shy of a double-double with nine kills and a team-high ten digs. Sophomore Michelle Li (Scarsdale, N.Y.) had 34 assists in the setback.
Coast Guard ran to a 16-6 lead in the first set before securing a 25-13 win. The Blue got no closer than seven points in the later stages of the opener but quickly rebounded with a second set victory to tie the match.
With the scored tied 9-9 in set two, kills from Shoop and first year Kennedy Ulfig (Saline, Mich.) and a Coast Guard error pushed the Blue ahead 12-9. Wellesley never trailed for the remainder of the set, holding only a slim edge through the game until a kill from sophomore Ashley Peng (San Diego, Calif.) helped the Blue tie the match, 1-1, with a 25-22 set victory.
Leading 3-2 in the third set, the Bears scored seven unanswered points to jump to an 11-2 advantage. Coast Guard would go on to lead by a 19-8 margin late in the game before taking the 25-15 win to go up two sets to one.
A back-and-forth fourth set swung in Coast Guard's favor thanks to a 4-0 run by the Bears after the teams played to a 12-12 tie to start. The Blue chipped away, cutting the deficit to 18-16 following an ace from Reece, but could not overtake the Bears, as kills from West and Scott closed out the 25-21 win to give the Bears the match.
Both teams will close out the NEWMAC regular season on Saturday, October 29, at 1:00 PM. Wellesley will host Springfield on Senior Day and Coast Guard will play at MIT.