Wellesley, MA --- WPI won the final NEWMAC regular season match on Saturday afternoon but were edged out of a NEWMAC Tournament bid due to other results around the conference. The visiting Engineers bested Wellesley 3-1 (25-20, 25-18, 17-25, 25-22) but had their hopes dashed when just down the road Smith upset Babson 3-1.
Catherine Reynolds (Concord, NH) paced all players with 39 assists for WPI, reaching the 2,000 career milestone. The senior, who may return for a fifth year, has now doled out 2,016 assists in three seasons of action.
Maddie Sanborn (Londonderry, NH) led the Engineers (15-9, 4-6 NEWMAC) with 14 kills and Natalia Wierzbicki (Wareham, MA) finished with nine swats. Victoria Escuer (Caracas, Venezuela), Reynolds and Jia Yazon (South Windsor, CT) had double-digits digs for WPI with 16, 14 and 12 respectively.
Junior Kate Salembier (Sierra Madre, CA) had 10 kills and 12 digs for the Blue (8-17, 1-9) while first year Kaija Kunze-Hoeg (Eagan, MN) had her 21st game with at least 10 digs for Wellesley. Prior to the match, the hosts celebrated the contributions of senior TylerBell Smith (Frisco, Texas).
After the first set was even at 17-17, the Engineers utilized kills from first year Fiona Gillis (Bedford, NH) and Reynolds late to win eight of the final 11 points in a 25-20 set.
The Engineers raced out to an 10-3 lead in the second, before the Blue regained their footing, cutting the lead to two at 14-12 on a lil by sophomore Mia Maxwell (Arlington, MA). Gillis and Sanborn kills pushed WPI's lead to seven at 21-14, and the Engineers finished a 25-18 set on a kill by sophomore Emily Hudson (Melrose, MA).
Back to back service aces from Maxwell gave the Blue a 17-13 lead in the third set. After the Engineers scored a point, the Blue won seven of the next eight points with big kills from sophomore Jennifer Yu (Shanghai, China) and two service aces from classmate Rachel Xu (Beijing, China). A service error ultimately gave Wellesley a 25-17 set.
WPI jumped out to a 10-2 lead in the fourth, with Sanborn picking up a pair of kills. The Blue surged back to cut the led to one at 11-10, and later took the lead at 16-15 on a service ace from Salembier. At 20-20 the Engineers got a kill from Sanborn and never gave back the lead, with a kill from Reynolds closing out the 25-22 set, and giving WPI a 3-1 win.
Majority of Release Courtesy Wellesley Sports Information