As part of our summer series, we are looking back at the best moments from the 2021-2022 academic year, today featuring WPI Volleyball's conference victory over Springfield on October 2nd, 2021.
Springfield, MA -- The WPI volleyball team upset nationally recognized Springfield on the road on Saturday, sweeping the Pride 3-0 on their home court. The Engineers improve to 10-4, 2-4 NEWMAC, while Springfield, which received 144 votes in the latest AVCA National Poll, falls to 11-3, 3-3 NEWMAC.
WPI, which has only three wins over Springfield in program history, has now beaten the Pride in back-to-back matches. The Engineers hit .291, just one tick off a season-best, holding Springfield to an anemic .043 attack.
WPI opened up a 1-0 lead on the Pride, using a late run to take the first set, 26-24. Springfield had the early advantage, breaking a 7-7 tie with an 11-1 run to open up an 18-9 advantage. The Engineers rallied with a surge of their own, scoring seven of the next eight points to close the gap to 19-16. Springfield regained its footing and looked to be on the way to winning set one, going up 24-20 on a Jamie Albrecht kill. However, WPI spoiled three-straight set points, tying the match at 24-24. The Engineers then sealed the comeback with a block from Kaleigh Hess (Berea, KY) and Olivia Deckers (Marlboro, MA) followed by a Catherine Reynolds (Concord, NH) ace to take it in extra points.
WPI went up 2-0 with a convincing 25-10 win in set two. The Engineers took over a tight match early in the action, using a 6-0 surge to go up by 13-6. Springfield got the lead down to 15-10, but the Engineers used an impressive 10-0 run to close out the frame. WPI hit .500 in the set, striking for 10 kills on just one error, while holding Springfield to a negative attack.
A tight third set saw the teams tied 11 times before WPI surged at the right time to wrap up the sweep, 25-23. With WPI up 7-5, Springfield struck for five-straight to take its largest lead of the frame at 10-5. The Engineers quickly turned the script, using a 10-2 surge to go up 15-12. WPI held on to slim lead until a 3-1 surge from the Pride tied the set at 21-21. The Engineers answered with a 3-1 surge of their own, getting set point at 24-22. Though the Pride had one spoiler to cut the lead to 24-23, an exclamation point block from Amanda Wetmore (Hudson, NH) and Natalia Wierzbicki (Wareham, MA) on the final Springfield swing ended the set and match in favor of WPI, as the Engineers pulled off the upset.
Wetmore led the Crimson and Gray offense with 18 kills, adding three aces and a pair of blocks. Deckers finished with seven kills, while Reynold tallied a double-double with team highs of 26 assists and 14 digs. Hess ended the afternoon with three blocks and three kills.
Camryn Bancroft (Eastport, NY) and Ashley Tanner (Manorville, NY) each tallied seven kills for the Pride, while Bancroft added a match-high five blocks for the hosts.
Both teams continue NEWMAC play on Tuesday night. WPI hosts Smith at 7pm, while Springfield hosts Clark, also at 7pm.