Volleyball Locks Up Fifth Seed in NEWMAC Tournament with Senior Day Win Over Smith

Joan Porambo

Worcester, MA --- Belinda Nwagbara (Santa Rosa, CA) amassed 11 kills and hit .333 to go along with three service aces and five digs as WPI won its final home match of the season on Saturday over NEWMAC conference rival Smith in three games, 25-21, 25-23, 25-15.

The Engineers wrap up their regular season at 19-9 with a 5-4 conference record.  Smith sees its season conclude with a 9-18 overall mark and a 1-8 ledger in NEWMAC play.

For the second straight season, WPI finishes conference play in fifth place and will face fourth-seeded MIT in a NEWMAC Tournament quarterfinal on Tuesday at 7pm.

Kerrin Beovich (Seaford, NY) added seven kills, four service aces and three digs. Bailey Sarber (Westerly, RI) tallied six kills and five digs. Alex Rangel (Weston, FL) and Kim Woodward (Cliffton Park, NY) set up the offense with 18 and 13 set assists, respectively. Joan Porambo (Jim Thorpe, PA) spearheaded the defense with 12 digs.

The decisive part of the match came in the second set when WPI used a 10-2 run to transfer a 16-11 Smith advantage into a 21-18 Crimson and Gray bulge.  Rangle served five points during the spurt, including three aces.

For the Pioneers of Smith, Rosa Drummond (Rye, NH) had a match-high 13 kills, four block assists and three digs. Blair Bell (Upper Montclair, NJ) racked up eight kills and eight digs. Smith kept the first two games close with some excellent blocking at the net, putting down nine total blocks, including 16 block assists. Sonia Brown (Amherst, MA) had five block assists while Becca Gordon (West Hartford, CT) joined Drummond with four.  Courtney Faria (Pocasset, MA) and Hayley Bezubka (North Kingstown, RI) both doled out 10 assists.

Woodward and Porambo, WPI's graduating seniors, were recognized in honor of senior day by coaches, teammates and spectators. Both brought years of leadership, dedication and commitment to the program.