Volleyball Foiled Twice on Day One of Johnson & Wales Invitational

Holly Ganser

Providence, RI --- The WPI volleyball team suffered a pair of 3-0 losses on the opening day of action at the Johnson & Wales Invitational on Friday afternoon.  The Crimson and Gray dropped the opener to the host Wildcats by scores of 25-17, 25-20, 25-16 before falling in the nightcap to Bridgewater State by counts of 26-24, 25-18, 25-15. 

Sarah Cook (New Paltz, NY) and Maddy Werth (Bedford, MA) each smacked six kills in the opener against JWU while Kenzie Whalen (Hollis, NH) chipped in with five.  Caroline Meyer (Easton, MA) handed out 14 assists, narrowly missing out on game-high honors and Worth and Meyer contributed eight and seven digs respectively.   

Despite the final margin, the third set was arguably the most competitive with four of the six lead changes occurring during the stanza.  The Engineers hit a match-best .108 in the set but saw the hosts more than double its highest hitting percentage of the day with a .303 clip. The Wildcats had Alyssa Drapeau (Biddeford, ME) post a double-double with 11 kills and 10 digs. 

WPI led the opening set against Bridgewater State 23-17, but saw the Bears rattle off nine of the final 10 points, including staving off three set points, and never enjoyed another advantage the rest of the day.  Holly Ganser (Seward, AK) registered a match-best 10 kills, while Cook amassed six and Werth five.  Meyer led all players with 21 assists and Cook and Werth both were credited with six digs. 

Bridgewater State received eight kills from Danielle Dean (Gilford, NH) while Michelle Atkins (Chelsea, MA) totaled seven.  The Bears service game may have been the difference, as BSU totaled 11 aces, including five by Charleyne Panner (Gilford, NH), who also doled out 20 assists.

WPI (6-11) completes pool play in the eight-team tournament Saturday at noon on Court #1 against Western Connecticut.  The Engineers will finish play with a match at either 2 or 4pm.