Volleyball Takes No. 22 MIT to Four Sets

Paige Garland - 2021 WPI Volleyball

WORCESTER – WPI staved off elimination with a third set victory but could not finish the comeback as they fell 3-1 to No. 22 MIT in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Saturday afternoon at Harrington Auditorium.

The Engineers from Cambridge took the first two sets (25-19, 25-20) before WPI pulled back a game with a 26-24 win in the third. MIT closed out the win by taking the fourth set by a 25-14 margin.

MIT stays undefeated at 13-0 on the season (4-0 NEWMAC), while WPI falls to 9-3 overall and 1-3 in the conference.

WPI senior Amanda Wetmore (Hudson, NH) led all players with 16 kills, the only member of her team in double-figures. MIT got 13 kills from Ella Gragg (Morganton, NC) and ten kills apiece from Lilly Edwards (Kansas City, MO) and Allison Brattley (Fleetwood, PA).

A service ace by WPI sophomore Catherine Reynolds (Concord, NH) tied the two sides at 18-18 in the first set before MIT ripped off a 7-1 run, which included two kills by Lilly Edwards to close out the game.

WPI took an early 6-3 lead in the second set and continued to lead until 11-9 before back to back kills by Brattley sparked a 4-0 run for MIT. The visitors would not trail again in the set as they jumped out to a 2-0 advantage in the match.

Looking to keep the match alive, WPI took a 17-14 lead in the third on a kill by Wetmore, one of 24 set up by Reynolds on the afternoon. The Engineers re-tied the game at 22 and then again at 24 to stave off set point, but WPI capitalized on an attack error and used a Reynolds kill to emerge with the 26-24 win.

Emily Cheng (Sunnyvale, CA) led all players with 42 assists in the win for MIT.

The fourth set saw MIT race out to an 8-0 lead and never trail by more than eight after that point. They grabbed a 12-2 advantage on a kill by Edwards, whose final kill of the night also ended the match.

Ottavia Personeni (Bethesda, MD) had a game-high 29 digs for MIT, while Jia Yazon (South Windsor, CT) led WPI with 20 digs and also had a service ace.

Reynolds had three aces, five kills, eight digs and four blocks, while Natalia Wierzbicki (Wareham, MA) was in on five blocks for the home team. 

Both sets of Engineers continue NEWMAC play on Tuesday evening. WPI will travel to Babson for a 7pm game, while MIT returns home to host Springfield at 6pm.