WORCESTER -- Sophomore Melissa Daigle (Norfolk, MA) collected a match-best 14 kills on 30 attempts for a .367 hitting percentage as WPI defeated visiting Mount Holyoke, 3-0 (25-11, 25-13, 25-15), on Saturday afternoon in Harrington Auditorium.
With the win, the Engineers (20-7, 5-5 NEWMAC) post their first 20-win season since amassing 22 in 2010 and earn their first NEWMAC tournament berth since 2012. Seventh-seeded WPI will head to second-seeded Springfield for a 7pm NEWMAC Quarterfinal on Tuesday.
Freshman Casey Hunt (Granby, CT) tallied five kills as sophomore Ann Kaczowka (Seekonk, MA), sophomore Brooke Klepper (Miami Beach, FL), freshman Azita Bakhtyari (Andover, MA) and junior Sam Bircsak (Acton, MA) each contributed with a pair of swipes. Junior Shay Feeley (Franklin, MA) handed out 14 assists and served up four aces while Bakhtyari chipped in with eight helpers. Hunt accounted for 14 of the Engineers 44 digs to go along with seven by Bakhtyari and six by Feeley.
Sarah Caggiano and Emma Sweeting led the Lyons with seven kills apiece as Natalie Lyon dished out a match-best 15 assists. Kelsey Hutchinson took home a match-high 16 digs and Sara Robicheau added a pair of aces.
WPI opened a 15-5 lead in the first, headlined by a 10-1 run that featured kills by five different Boynton Hillers. The second set remained close, and included a 5-5 tie, before Daigle sparked a 5-0 run to pull away from the Lyons. The Engineers used an 8-0 uprising en route to taking the second set. Feeley then served up three aces to key a 4-0 lead early in the third. Mount Holyoke answered and pulled within one (4-3) off back-to-back kills by Sweeting. The Lyons kept the deficit a pair until the Engineers took advantage of a pair of miscues to take the 13-9 advantage on their way to the sweep.
A number of fundraising activities occured surrounding the team's Think Pink event, including the sale of merchandise, baked goods and various other items to benefit the squads Relay for Life team and the American Cancer Society.
Three-year student-athlete and current student assistant coach Jenny Wallace (Holden, MA) was recognized prior to the match for her contributions to WPI Athletics and the volleyball program.
Mount Holyoke concludes its campaign with a 7-16 overall record.