Volleyball Tops RIC, Falls to Hosts on Final Day of Wesleyan (Conn.) Invitational

The Blue finished the Wesleyan (Conn.) Invitational with a 2-1 record (Caitlin Gordon '22).
The Blue finished the Wesleyan (Conn.) Invitational with a 2-1 record (Caitlin Gordon '22).

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. -- Wellesley College volleyball split a pair of non-conference matches on Saturday at the Wesleyan (Conn.) Invitational. The Blue dropped a 3-0 decision to nationally-ranked Wesleyan (Conn.) before rebounding with a 3-0 win over Rhode Island College. Wellesley is now 3-1 overall. 

No. 16 Wesleyan (Conn.) 3, Wellesley 0 (25-14, 25-15, 28-26)

Wellesley juniors Lauren Gedney (Huntersville, N.C.) and Nikki Jensen (Castro Valley, Calif.) combined for 20 kills in a 3-0 (25-14, 25-15, 28-26) setback to the Cardinals. 

Sophomore setter Izzy Seebold (Concord, N.C.) dished out 29 assists and collected 10 digs to record her second straight double-double. Gedney totaled 13 kills, while Jensen added seven and classmate Darina Postupaka (Tinley Park, Ill.) had five. Senior libero Meghan Shoop (Cypress, Calif.) finished with a match-high 16 kills.

Senior Nicole Hilton (Wantagh, N.Y.) finished with nine kills and classmate Mia Hogan (Belmont, Calif) added eight kills to lead the Cardinals. Three Wesleyan players finished in double-figures on defense, with senior Kaira Muraoka-Robretson (Los Angeles, Calif.) and junior Phia Bellizzi (Ladera Ranch, Calif.) each totaling 12 digs and sophomore Jenna Otaola (San Diego, Calif.) adding 10. Muraoka-Robretson also tallied 24 assists. 

Wesleyan never trailed in the opening two sets, taking a commanding lead in the match with 25-14 and 25-15 victories. The Cardinals then held off a push from the Blue in the third set when, trailing 26-25, they scored the final three points in the match to clinch the victory. 

Wellesley 3, Rhode Island College 0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-19)

The Blue rebounded in the afternoon, downing Rhode Island College (RIC) in straight sets thanks to 11 kills from Gedney and nine kills from Postupaka. The victory helped the Blue to finish the weekend with a 2-1 record in the tournament. 

Gedney finished with a match-high in kills and a .308 attack percentage, while Seebold dished out 32 assists to pace the Blue attack. Ten different Wellesley players finished with at least one kill in the match, as junior Molly Weik (Seattle, Wash.) tallied five and Jensen added four more. Jensen was also the team leader in digs with 11.

Sophomore Amelia Murphy (North Attleboro, Mass.) paced RIC with 10 kills on 30 attempts. Juniors Samantha Borges (Swansea, Mass.) and Janaeya Evans (Marietta, Ga.) tied for match-high honors with 14 kills apiece. Senior setter Jacqueline Jutras (Foster, R.I.) had 18 assists in the setback for the Anchorwomen (0-4 overall).

The Blue rallied in the opening set, overcoming an early 13-6 deficit to take a 25-22 victory. RIC jumped to another 13-6 led in the second set but the Blue again flipped the script, as a 17-2 run gave Wellesley a 23-15 lead. Wellesley then took a 2-0 win with a 25-20 victory before closing out the match with a 25-19 victory in the third set. 

Wellesley will continue the season on Wednesday, September 11, with a 7:00 PM matchup at UMass Dartmouth.