WELLESLEY, Mass. – First year outside hitters Lauren Gedney (Huntersville, N.C.) and Nikki Jensen (Castro Valley, Calif.) combined for 25 kills to lead third-seeded Wellesley College volleyball to a 3-0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-19) sweep of sixth-seeded Coast Guard in the quarterfinals of the New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Volleyball Championship on Tuesday night at Dorothy Towne Fieldhouse.
Wellesley improves to 21-5 with the team's fourth-straight victory and will face crosstown rival and second seeded Babson College in the NEWMAC Semifinals on Saturday, November 4, at 3:30 PM at MIT's Rockwell Cage. Coast Guard ends the season with a 14-16 overall record.
Gedney totaled a match-high 15 kills on 29 attempts, hitting .379 to lead a Wellesley offense that finished the match with a .284 attacking percentage. Jensen added 10 kills, while junior Yasmine Reece (New Rochelle, N.Y.) registered eight kills and first year Darina Postupaka (Tinley Park, Ill.) chipped in with six. Junior libero Samantha Hoang (Elk Grove, Calif.) totaled a match-high with 16 digs, while junior setter Michelle Li (Scarsdale, N.Y.) led all players with 34 assists.
Coast Guard sophomore Angelou Dunton (Seattle, Wash.) hit .308 with 12 kills to lead the Bears in the setback. First year Bridget Boyle (Dunwoody, Ga.) added five kills, but the Bears hit just .128 and managed just 28 kills in the match. Sophomore Makenna Martin (Granbury, Texas) and first year Veronica Hine (Virginia Beach, Va.) split the setting duties, finishing with 14 and 11 assists, respectively. Hine also added three aces. Senior libero Michelle McGill (Atlantic Beach, Fla.) had 11 digs.
Wellesley put down 17 kills in a first set that went down to the wire. The Blue opened the game on an 8-3 run, but Coast Guard rallied back to tie the match four times, including at 22-22. However, Wellesley ended the frame by scoring three of the final four points, before clinching the set, 25-23, on a Coast Guard error.
The Blue closed out the match with matching 25-19 victories in the second and third sets. Wellesley never trailed in the second set, taking a 7-1 lead early, and held a six-point edge for much of the set before closing out the 25-19 win. In the third set, the Blue rallied from a slow start, turning a 4-2 deficit into a 14-7 lead before going on to win the match when Reece and Postupaka blocked down the final point.
The Blue will meet Babson for the second time this season when they face off on Saturday. Babson earned a 3-1 win over Wellesley on October 24. Saturday's playoff meeting will be the first between the two teams since the Blue notched a 3-0 win over the Beavers in the first round of the 2011 NEWMAC Tournament.