WORCESTER -- It has been 635 days since the WPI volleyball team took the court to play a competitive match, and on Wednesday evening, they celebrated their return with a 3-0 victory over Regis in the opener of the 2021 season.
The Engineers (1-0) took the first two sets by 25-18 scores, and then finished off the sweep with a 25-12 victory in set three at Harrington Auditorium.
In addition to marking the return of fans to the sidelines at WPI games, Wednesday's win was the first for Interim Head Coach Leo Fahey in his second stint with the Engineers.
WPI senior Amanda Wetmore (Hudson, NH) led all players with 18 kills, and hit a robust .441 for the match. The Engineers registered double-digit kills in two of the three sets as a team, starting fast by hitting .300 with 13 kills in the opening set.
They took control of the first set with a 12-2 run, taking them from a 12-12 deadlock to set point thanks to the attacking prowess of Wetmore and Renee Sawka (Westford, MA), who finished the night with three kills, two of them during that spurt.
The Pride (0-1) were led by three kills apiece from Ahnasia Mckinney (Chelmsford, MA) and Kamdyn Tenorio (Irvine, CA), who also had five digs and a service ace. Regis got 11 digs and two assists from Mica van der Meulen (Colorado Springs, CO), while the offense ran mostly through Karly Sanborn (Gilmanton, NH), who had a team-high 7 assists.
Regis stayed neck and neck with WPI in the second set, and the Engineers led 19-18 before rattling off the final six points to win the game. Olivia Deckers (Marlboro, MA) had a big block in that run, and Catherine Reynolds (Concord, NH) had back-to-back service aces before setting up Paige Garland (Nashua, NH) for the final kill, one of 24 assists on the night for the sophomore setter.
The Engineers finished off the match by winning eleven of the last thirteen points. Garland had service aces in two of the last three points, part of a 12-ace night for WPI that included three from Reynolds and two from Sawka. Garland also had four kills on the night, while Jia Yazon (South Windsor, CT) led the Engineers with 12 digs Suela Miloshi (Needham, MA) added six digs and three kills.
WPI will head to Elms College this weekend for the Blazers Invitational. They will face Colby-Sawyer and SUNY Cobleskill on Friday before playing the Host Blazers on Saturday.
Regis heads to New England College next Tuesday for a 6:00pm game.