Werth’s Career-Night Sends Volleyball Past Brandeis in Five

Maddy Werth

WORCESTER – Senior Maddy Werth (Bedford, MA) smashed a match and career-high 21 kills and hit at a .340 clip to key a 3-2 (25-15, 19-25, 22-25, 25-22, 15-6) victory over visiting Brandeis in a Thursday night in a non-conference women's volleyball matchup at Harrington Auditorium.

With the win, the Engineers halt a three-match skid and improve to 18-7 while the Judges, who is 3-2 in its last five against New England opponents, slip to 7-15.

WPI took a 3-0 lead in the fifth and never looked back. Junior Brooke Klepper (Miami Beach, FL), who notched three kills and did not commit an error in the stanza, capped of an 8-1 run to close out the match. Werth also hit 1.000 (four kills) in the clincher.

Earlier in the night, Klepper snapped a 13-13 tie and sparked a 10-1 outburst en route to taking the opening set by double digits. Werth highlighted rally with three swipes and sophomore Victoria Nassar (Salem, NH) added a service ace.

Behind a pair of kills from freshman Emma Bartlett (Duxbury, MA) and two aces from classmate Doyeon Kim (La Canada, CA), the Judges took a 9-1 lead in the second set. The teams then traded side outs until a pair of miscues put the visitors up 14-5. Later in the frame, Werth and senior Samantha Bircsak (Acton, MA) strung together a trio of kills as part of a 5-1 spurt.

The third frame featured mini-runs until late when an ace by senior Jessica Kaufman (Tucson, AZ) increased Brandeis' cushion to four (23-19). Werth extended the set with a kill off an assist by senior Shay Feeley (Franklin, MA).

After another ace by Doeyon early in the fourth, WPI, aided by a handful of miscues, went on a 5-0 run capped by an ace from freshman Sandra Duarte (Valencia, CA). Brandeis then took advantage of an Engineer miscue and saw Bartlett smash back-to-back kills to get within one (6-5). The hosts enjoyed more four-point margins at 15-11, 20-16 and 22-18.  

Sophomore Casey Hunt (Granby, CT) delivered 14 kills and added 18 digs for one of the Engineers three double-doubles. Feeley and sophomore Azita Bakhtyari (Andover, MA) accounted for the other two with 23 assists and 17 digs, and helpers and 11 digs, respectively. Also recording double-digit digs were junior Kelly Rathje (Scituate, MA) with 23 and Nassar. Junior Kat Hurlock (Burlington, CT) chipped in with six kills on the night.

Sophomore Marlee Nork (Chicago, IL) and junior Jessie Moore (Rye, NH) each had a double-double for the Judges. Nork handed out 42 of 46 assists and logged 13 digs while Moore paced the squad with 14 kills to go with 11 digs. Bartlett finished with 13 swipes and sophomore Shea Decker-Jacoby (Los Angeles, CA) checked in with 10. Sophomore Yvette Cho (San Diego, CA) led all student-athletes with 25 digs followed by Kim with 17 and junior Lia Goldberg (Springfield, NJ) with 10.

WPI travels to Framingham State Saturday for an 11am first serve with the Rams before meeting with Keene State at 1pm. Brandeis hosts Rivier Tuesday at 7pm.

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