Tri-Match Sweep Has Volleyball Off to Best Start Since 2010

WPI Volleyball

WORCESTER -- After two wins in a tri-match on Saturday afternoon, WPI women's volleyball is off to an 8-0 start, their best opening to a season in over a decade.

The Engineers collected 3-0 victories over both Wentworth and Anna Maria at Harrington Auditorium, and have started the year with eight straight wins for the first time since 2010, when they began 9-0. WPI will look to match that mark on Tuesday night when they travel to Clark for a 7:00 PM match. The Cougars were the team that stopped WPI's streak at nine games in 2010.

Over the course of this streak, WPI has dropped only one set and has held opponents to a miniscule .046 hitting percentage.

In the neutral site match on Saturday, Wentworth topped Anna Maria 3-0.

Game 1: WPI 3, Wentworth 0

The Engineers squeezed out a 25-23 opening set, the closest game they would play all afternoon, before finishing off the sweep with victories of 25-14 and 25-13.

WPI had set point at 24-17 to open their match against the Leopards, but had to withstand six straight points by Wentworth before Olivia Deckers (Marlboro, MA) settled affairs with a kill.

Amanda Wetmore (Hudson, NH) led all players with 12 kills in the morning session, while also serving three aces and collecting three blocks. Natalia Wierzbicki (Wareham, MA) and Suela Miloshi (Needham, MA) had four kills apiece and only made a combined two errors on 18 swings.

The Leopards were led offensively by Helen Barthe (Blythewood, SC) and Lexi Zabloudil (London, OH). Barthe had five kills, while Zabloudil filled the stat sheet with four kills, six assists and six digs. Ashley Cao (Morrisville, NC) had nine assists for Wentworth, who was held to a .072 hitting percentage.

WPI sophomore Catherine Reynolds (Concord, NH) piled up 23 assists and a service ace in the three-set win. Miloshi and Jia Yazon (South Windsor, CT) combined for 16 digs to lead WPI defensively.

Game 3: WPI 3, Anna Maria 0

WPI recorded double-digit kills in each of the three sets while holding the Amcats to just 11 kills and a -.043 hitting percentage as they won 25-8, 25-15, 25-16.

Junior Maddie Sanborn (Londonderry, NH) had a team-high 11 kills as 12 different WPI players recorded kills. Sanborn also had six digs and two service aces.

The Engineers earned 15 points through aces, including five from Deckers and three from Emilia Krum (Saratoga Springs, NY). Yazon had three aces as well, and added 12 more digs to her ledger for the afternoon. Lilly Taylor (Weymouth, MA) handled most of the setting responsibilities this game, recording 18 assists.

Anna Maria had eight digs apiece from Serena Dennis (Holyoke, MA) and Julia Rutkowski (Coventry, CT), and nine assists from Julia Tarantino (Pembroke, MA). Bella Kozciak (Westfield, MA) had four kills and five digs and Ashley Sheehan (Medford, MA) had the Amcats' only block.

Game 2: Wentworth 3, Anna Maria 0

The Leopards improved to 6-2 with a 25-17, 25-19, 25-23 win over Anna Maria in the middle game of the day.

Wentworth had a 47-20 advantage in kills, including earning 19 of their 25 points in set two via the attack, hitting .325 for the game.

Riley Waggoner (Simi Valley, CA) had a game-high 14 kills to pace the Leopards, who attacked at a .255 clip over the course of the match. Wentworth had eight players with three or more kills and eight players to record at least one assist, led by Cao's 17 helpers. Cao also had 2 service aces, six digs and five kills.

Rutkowski led the Amcats (1-5) with eight kills, while Tarantino and Dennis had ten digs apiece. Tarantino made it a double-double with 12 assists.