Volleyball Sees Breakthrough Season Come to End with Loss at Wellesley

Becca Holmberg

Wellesley 3, WPI 0

Box Score  

Wellesley, MA --- Wellesley volleyball advanced to the NEWMAC semifinals with a 3-0 win over WPI this evening at Keohane Sports Center. The Engineers close out their season at 22-8. The 22 wins are the fourth most in program history and the highest in 21 years. Wellesley, 21-9 overall, will face Springfield in the NEWMAC semifinals at 7:30 Friday evening at MIT. 

The Blue opened a 6-1 lead in set one, but WPI quickly trimmed the lead to 6-5 with a kill and an ace from Baily Sarber (Westerly, RI) and a kill from Belinda Nwagbara (Santa Rosa, CA). Wellesley maintained a slim lead to 11-9, then snagged six straight points, highlighted by three kills from Elizabeth Campbell (Solona Beach, CA), to take a 17-9 advantage. A kill from WPI's Becca Holmberg (Madison, CT) stopped the bleeding, but Wellesley won eight of the next 10 points to take the first set 25-12. 

Set two began evenly, with three ties before Wellesley took a narrow 7-5 edge. The Blue then went on a five-point run that included three kills from Isabel Custodio (Powell, OH) to take a 12-5 lead. WPI rallied with two kills from Holmberg and one from Nwagbara to trim the lead to 15-11, but Wellesley took ten of the next eleven points to capture game two, 25-12. 

The Engineers took an early 4-2 lead in game three with another kill from Sarber and an ace from Kerrin Beovich (Seaford, NY). Wellesley answered with a four-point serving run from Victoria Peng (Diamond Bar, CA) to take a 6-4 advantage, but the game stayed close until Wellesley opened a narrow 13-10 edge midway throught the set. Another four-point run from Peng gave the Blue 19-11 lead, and the hosts cruised to a 25-16 win to seal the match. 

Holmberg and Nwagbara led the Engineers with six kills each, while Sarber pitched in three. Joan Porambo (Jim Thorpe, PA) led the team with 11 digs, and Holmberg added seven. Kim Woodward (Clifton Park, NY) and Alex Rangel (Weston, FL) shared setting duties, recording eight and five assists, respectively. 

The Blue, who hit .302 for the match while holding WPI to .070, were led by Alice Cummings (Tallahassee, FL), who totaled 13 kills and nine digs. Campbell added 10 kills, five aces, and seven digs, while Taylor King (Walnut Creek, CA) and Custodio contributed to the attack as well, tallying seven and six kills. Vivian Hu (Bellaire, TX) anchored the Wellesley defense with 20 digs, while Custodio and Peng combined for 36 assists in the straight set victory.

For NEWMAC Volleyball Championship updates, please visit the see the conference website at http://www.newmacsports.com/sports/vball/championships/index

Release Courtesy Wellesley Sports Information