WELLESLEY, Mass. -- Sophomore Lauren Gedney (Huntersville, N.C.) and senior Yasmine Reece (New Rochelle, N.Y.) combined for 49 kills to lift Wellesley College volleyball to a 3-2 (25-22, 22-25, 18-25, 25-21, 15-10) victory over WPI in a thrilling five-set New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) match-up on Saturday afternoon at Dorothy Towne Fieldhouse.
Wellesley is now 8-0 overall and 3-0 in the NEWMAC. The Engineers slide to 9-3 on the season and 1-3 in conference play.
Gedney led the way with a career-high 25 kills on 48 attempts for the Blue. Reece was dominant at the net, hitting .457 with 24 kills and eight block assists. Senior setter Michelle Li (Scarsdale, N.Y.) matched her career-high with 61 assists and added eight digs. Classmate Samantha Hoang (Elk Grove, Calif.) was one of three Wellesley players to finish in double figures on defense, registering a team-high 20 digs. First year Nicole Doerges (San Marino, Calif.) added 15 digs and sophomore Becca Aristotelidis (San Antonio, Texas) had 11.
Senior Casey Hunt (Granby, Conn.) totaled 24 digs to lead WPI in the match and surpass 1,000 in her collegiate career. Hunt also finished with 12 kills. Sophomores Amanda Wetmore (Hudson, N.H.) and Sarah Kwatinetz (Seattle, Wash.) tied for team-high honors with 13 kills, while junior Colleen Mullins (Andover, Mass.) added 10. Senior setter Azita Bakhtyari (Andover, Mass.) dished out 49 assists and now has over 2,000 in her WPI career.
Wellesley opened up a 15-6 lead in the first set and never trailed on the way to a 1-0 advantage in the match. WPI closed the gap to 22-20 late in the game, but the Blue held off the rally and closed out a 25-22 win on a kill from Reece. WPI countered with a 25-22 win of their own in the second set, erasing an early 9-4 Wellesley lead when a kill by Hunt capped an 8-0 run to make the score 12-9. The Blue battled back to take a 14-13 lead but a 6-0 run put the Engineers back ahead, 19-14, before the visitors closed out the set.
WPI took the lead in the match with a 25-18 win in set three. Trailing 8-7, the Engineers scored nine of the next 10 points in the game to take a 16-9 lead. Wellesley would get no closer than five points for the remainder of the third set, with WPI taking a 25-18 final. WPI jumped ahead 11-6 in the fourth set, but this time the Blue rallied. Wellesley scored seven of the next eight points to take a 13-12 lead. WPI battled back to take a late 21-18 edge but the Blue scored the final seven points in the set, as a kill from sophomore Nikki Jensen (Castro Valley, Calif.) sealed a 25-21 win and sent the match to a fifth game.
Wellesley never trailed in the fifth set, hitting .294 while limiting the Engineers to just three kills to close out the victory. Leading 11-9, Gedney rocked down her final two kills of the night as part of a 4-1 run to end the match with a 15-10 final.
Both squads will be in action on Tuesday evening at 7:00 PM. Wellesley will travel to Smith and WPI will play at Mount Holyoke.