WELLESLEY, Mass. -- Junior Lauren Gedney (Huntersville, N.C.) tallied 16 kills and senior Meghan Shoop (Cypress, Calif.) had a match-high 20 digs as second-seeded Wellesley College volleyball swept past seventh-seeded WPI, 3-0 (25-14, 25-20, 25-21), in the quarterfinals of the 2019 New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Volleyball Championship on Tuesday evening at Dorothy Towne Fieldhouse.
Wellesley improves to 22-4 overall while extending the team's home court winning streak to 25 consecutive matches. The Blue will now host No. 6 Emerson in the NEWMAC semifinals on Thursday, November 7. Emerson upset No. 3 MIT, 3-2 (17-25, 21-25, 25-18, 25-23, 15-11), to advance to the semifinals.
Shoop added a match-high three aces for the Blue, while junior Nikki Jensen (Castro Valley, Calif.) added 10 kills and seven digs. Sophomore Nicole Doerges (San Marino, Calif.) chipped in with nine kills and six digs and classmate Izzy Seebold (Concord, N.H.) added 37 assists and five digs.
Junior Amanda Wetmore (Hudson, N.H.) had seven kills to lead WPI (14-14 overall). Senior Colleen Mullins (Andover, Mass.) and first year Maddie Sanborn (Londonderry, N.H.) each had five kills, while Mullins added 12 digs. Senior libero Abbie Gilbert (Hopkinton, MA) also finished with 12 digs and first year Catherine Reynolds (Concord, N.H.) had 16 assists.
Wellesley hit .306 with 15 kills in a 25-14 first set rout of the Engineers. The Blue never trailed in the opening set, taking a 6-1 lead at the start before working the advantage to 20-12, following a kill by Jensen. The Blue closed out the set on a WPI error to take a 1-0 lead in the match.
WPI countered to start the second set, taking a 4-0 lead, but five straight Blue points, capped by an ace from Doerges, pushed the Blue back ahead, 5-4. The visitors earned the next three points but a 7-1 Blue run helped Wellesley regain control at 12-8. The Engineers cut the deficit to one, 14-13, but Wellesley never lost the lead again in the set, taking a 25-20 win.
The Blue broke free from the Engineers in a back-and-forth third set to clinch the sweep. With the match tied, 13-13, a big block from Seebold and Molly Weik (Seattle, Wash.) keyed a 4-1 Wellesley run that forced a WPI timeout with Wellesley leading 17-14. WPI worked the deficit back to two, forcing a Blue timeout at 22-20. However, back-to-back Blue kills from Seebold and Doerges forced a WPI timeout with the Blue one point away from the win. WPI fought off one match point but Doerges clinched the win, 25-21, with her final kill of the match.
Thursday's semifinal match against Emerson will begin at 7:00 PM. Tickets are $5 for Adults, $3 for Seniors, $1 for Students, and Children Under 12 are free. Wellesley Student tickets are also free, courtesy of the Office of the President.