WORCESTER -- The WPI volleyball team snapped a two-game skid with a hard-fought victory over Wheaton Tuesday night. The Engineers earned the five-set win with a nail biting 25-23, 25-17, 23-25, 24-26, 15-11 victory over the Lyons for the team's first conference victory of the season.
Amanda Wetmore (Hudson, NH) led the way for the Engineers finishing with a career-high 22 kills on the night on an unreal 67 attempts while also adding nine digs, four service aces and a pair of blocks in the victory. Natalia Wierzbicki (Wareham, MA) finished with 10 kills and an impressive .500 hitting percentage while also adding five blocks in the game. Catherine Reynolds (Concord, NH) dished out 44 helpers while also making 12 digs and adding seven kills and Jia Yazon (South Windsor, CT) finished with 17 digs on the night.
Wheaton was paced by Bailey Madrzyk (Barrington, IL) who finished with 14 kills and a .519 hitting percentage while also tacking on four blocks. Adara Hamilton (Mercer Island, WA) helped on all sides of the ball finishing with an 12-kill, 19-dig double-double. Zoe Franz (Noblesville, IN) added 30 helpers in the five-set loss.
The first set featured a back-and-forth match that saw six lead changes. Neither team was willing to relent, but after Wheaton rallied off a couple points at 19-all to take a 21-19 lead, WPI fought back with a pair of kills from Olivia Deckers (Marlboro, MA), a bad set by the Lyons and a kill from Renee Sawka (Westford, MA) to make it a 24-22 ball game and ultimately come away with the 25-23 win.
The second set saw Wheaton get out to a 5-2 advantage early on before WPI battled back to make it a 6-5 game thanks to a pair of kills from Wetmore as well as a service ace from Paige Garland (Nashua, NH). The Engineers continued to add two or three points throughout the match building up to a 23-13 lead. A pair of aces from Wheaton's Sophie Wilhelm (Saunderstown, RI) cut into the advantage, but WPI took home set two on a kill from Wierzbicki.
Wheaton got one back in the third set, coming out firing and beginning things with a 6-0 run. Ultimately the Engineers chipped away and evened things up at 10-all midway through the set on a Deckers kill. The two teams went point for point, until Wheaton was ultimately able to come away with the win, erasing the sweep opportunity.
Set number four once again went in favor of the Lyons who eked out a 26-24 victory forcing the fifth set of play. WPI gained as much as a 13-5 lead in the set before Wheaton locked down and fought back utilizing some late runs to ultimately erase WPIs lead and take a 24-23 lead of its own off of a Madryzk ace. WPI used a Wetmore kill to get the ball back at 24-all, but Wheaton's Annah Shaheen (Portsmouth, NH) slammed home a kill in the next point and a bad set ended the game in favor of the Lyons.
In the fifth set, after Wheaton was able to earn a 4-2 lead, the Wetmore/Wierzbicki attacking duo erased that lead and gave WPI its own advantage. Like set number two, the Engineers methodically added to their total building a five-point lead that Wheaton was unable to erase en route to the 15-11 victory that was solidified with none other than a Wetmore kill.
WPI will return to action on Saturday, Sept. 25 at home at noon against MIT, while Wheaton gets back in action Thursday night at Endicott at 7pm.