Deckers and Sanborn Each Smack 13 Kills as Volleyball Rolls Over Smith

Audrey Stroupe - WPI Women's Volleyball 2022

Northampton, MA -- The WPI volleyball team got 13 kills each from Olivia Deckers (Marlboro, MA) and Maddie Sanborn (Londonderry, NH) as the Engineers recorded a 3-1 victory (25-23, 25-18, 20-25, 25-18) on the road at Smith on Tuesday night. With its second straight NEWMAC win, WPI improves to 8-6 overall, 2-5 in conference play. Smith dips to 13-6, 3-3 in the NEWMAC. 

Deckers finished the night with just one error, hitting .414 and adding three aces and eight digs. Catherine Reynolds (Concord, NH) tallied another double-double with 31 assists and 10 digs, adding a match-best five aces. Audrey Stroupe (Leesburg, VA) contributed seven kills with a team-best three blocks, while Victoria Escuer (Caracas, Venezuela) led WPI with 21 digs. 

For Smith, Olivia Teske (Minneapolis, MN) led the squad with 10 kills with two aces and two blocks with Ava Zollinger (Orlando, FL) adding nine kills. Sophia Padilla (Fontana, CA) dished out 20 assists, while Sarah Dankovich (El Paso, TX) added 13 digs and four aces to the box score. 

The Engineers opened play by winning a tight first set to go up, 1-0. WPI held Smith to a .000 attack, but still, it came down to the final points of the frame. After an early 6-4 lead for the Engineers, Smith countered with a 10-3 surge to go up, 14-9. WPI rallied to tie the set at 16-16 on a block from Stroupe and Emily Hudson (Melrose, MA) and the set was tied as late as 23-23. From there, the Engineers used a Pioneers attack error and an ace from Jia Yazon (South Windsor, CT) to take it 25-23. 

In set two, WPI had the early advantage, going up 7-3 after the first 10 points. Smith tied the frame at 9-9 with a 6-2 surge, but the Engineers' offense rolled back, regaining the lead and pushing it to 19-14. Smith cut the gap to three points at 21-18, but WPI responded with four straight points to go up 2-0 in the match. 

The Pioneers rallied for a win in the third set, cutting the match score to 2-1. Another tight frame saw a host of ties and lead changes. Knotted at 10-10, Smith created separation with a 6-1 run to go up by five. Trailing 19-12, WPI countered with a 7-2 run to cut the gap to two (21-19), but the Pioneers scored four of the next five points to win it, 25-20. 

WPI sealed the win with a 25-18 win in the fourth set. The Engineers jumped out to a 9-3 lead, which they never relinquished. Smith cut the gap to three at 10-7, but WPI's offense didn't let up, closing out the 3-1 victory. 

WPI has a non-conference doubleheader on Saturday, heading to Gordon to play the hosts at 10am and then Colby at 2pm. Smith is next in action on Friday at 7pm, playing at Division I Hartford.

Photo courtesy of WPI Athletics Student Assistant Megan DeSanty

Box Score