Blue Volleyball Opens NEWMAC Season With Five-Set Win Over Emerson

Junior Yasmine Reece (Julia Monaco)
Junior Yasmine Reece (Julia Monaco)

BOSTON, Mass. -- First year Lauren Gedney (Huntersville, N.C.) posted 15 kills, 11 digs, and four aces to lead Wellesley College volleyball to a 3-2 (25-19, 25-18, 25-19, 25-22, 15-9) victory over Emerson College in the New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) opener for both squads on Tuesday night at Brown & Plofker Gym.

Wellesley earned their fourth win in their last five matches to improve to 4-3 overall (1-0 NEWMAC). The Blue defeated Emerson in their conference opener for the fifth-straight season. Emerson is now 4-4 overall (0-1 NEWMAC).

Gedney's double-double paced a Blue attack that also received 12 kills from first year Nikki Jensen (Castro Valley, Calif.), 11 kills from junior Samantha Ostenso (Hopkins, Minn), and eight kills from junior Yasmine Reece (New Rochelle, N.Y.). Junior setter Michelle Li (Scarsdale, N.Y.) topped the 40 assist plateau for the third time in her last four games. Li also added 12 digs, while classmate Samantha Hoang (Elk Grove, Calif.) had a team-high 14 digs.

Emerson first year Grace Tepper (Kensington, Md.) recorded a double-double of her own with 14 kills and 10 digs, finishing as the only Emerson players with double-digit kills. Junior Fara Cohen (Morristown, N.J.) chipped in with 13 digs and sophomore Kayleen Bertrand (New Boston, N.H.) matched Tepper with 10 digs. Junior setter Moira Brennan (Glenview, Ill.) orchestrated the Emerson attack with 35 assists, while Tepper and junior Kelley Guerra (Randolph, N.J.) each added three aces.

Wellesley jumped out to a two sets to none lead in the match and looked destined to secure a 3-0 sweep in their NEWMAC opener. However, the Lions stormed back with back-to-back wins in the third and fourth sets to force a fifth game. Wellesley extended an early 15-9 lead in the opener to 21-12, eventually closing out the game, 25-19, on consecutive kills from Jensen and Ostenso. Wellesley never trailed in the second, jumping to a 2-0 match lead when Ostenso again ended the set, this time for a 25-19 Wellesley win.

Emerson broke a 4-4 tie early in the third set to take an 11-6 lead. The Blue countered, making the score 13-12 Emerson, but five-straight Emerson points gave the Lions the lead for good. Emerson then closed out the set 25-19. The Blue appeared to bounce back in the fourth set, taking a 9-2 lead. However, Emerson scored eight of the next nine points in the match to tie the score, 10-10. The Lions and Blue played to four more tie scores before Emerson snapped a 19-all tie to take the set, 25-22. Wellesley never trailed in the deciding fifth game, holding off Emerson before scoring the final four points of the night to close out a 15-9 win to take the match 3-2.

NEWMAC play continues for both squads on Saturday, September 16. Wellesley will host Seven Sisters rival Mount Holyoke College at 2:00 PM. Emerson will travel to Coast Guard for a 1:00 PM start.