POTSDAM, N.Y. -- Junior Nikki Jensen (Castro Valley, Calif.) and sophomore Nicole Doerges (San Marino, Calif.) each tallied nine kills and ten digs to lead Wellesley College volleyball past The College at Brockport, 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-18), in the First Round of the 2019 NCAA Division III Women's Volleyball Championship at Clarkson University's Alumni Gymnasium.
The Blue improved to 23-5 overall, and 19-14 in NCAA Championship play, and will play regional host Clarkson in the Regional Semifinal Round on Saturday, November 16. Brockport, champions of the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC), caps the season with a 19-11 overall record.
Jensen finished with a .304 attack percentage on 23 attempts, while first year TylerBell Smith (Frisco, Texas) tallied a career-high 8 kills with just one error (.636). Sophomore setter Izzy Seebold (Concord, N,C.) dished out 34 assists and added three service aces. Junior Lauren Gedney (Huntersville, N.C.) finished with eight kills and senior Meghan Shoop (Cypress, Calif.) tallied a team-high 13 of Wellesley's 48 digs.
Sophomore Andrea Coyle (Caledonia, N.Y.) had a match-high seven kills to lead the Golden Eagles. Senior Lindsey Luce (Varysburg, N.Y.) and junior Meaghan Mastro (Apalachin, N.Y.) added six and five kills, respectively. Sophomore Ellen Paddock (Warsaw, N.Y.) had a team-high 11 digs, while senior Abbey Manning (Apalachin, N.Y.) tallied 12 assists.
Wellesley opened the match on a 5-0 run and extended the early advantage to 13-4 before Brockport called the game's first timeout. The Golden Eagles used a 5-1 run after the break to close the deficit to 14-9, but a Doerges kill keyed a 4-0 Wellesley run that pushed the lead back to 9, at 18-9. Brockport worked the Blue lead back to four, at 20-16, but Wellesley scored five of the final seven points in the set to take a 25-18 win.
The Blue forced an early Brockport timeout at the start of the second set, as consecutive kills from Smith, Doerges, and Nikki Jensen (Castro Valley, Calif.) made the score 9-4 Wellesley. Wellesley extended its lead to 14-6 before Brockport pushed back to cut the deficit to one, 17-16, with a 10-3 run. Wellesley continued to cling to a one-point lead at 19-18 before Gedney responded with back-to-back kills that keyed a 6-2 Blue run to end the set, 25-20, and push the Blue up 2-0 in the match.
Brockport took a 5-2 lead to open the third set, but a 10-1 Wellesley run quickly erased the advantage and put the Blue back in control. Wellesley hit .219 with 12 kills in the final set and never trailed after taking a 12-6 lead. Leading 23-18 late in the set, back-to-back kills from Smith and Jensen sent the Blue on to the next round.
Saturday's NCAA Division III Championship Regional Semifinal match against Clarkson will begin at 5:00 PM.