NEW LONDON, Conn.--Senior Catherine Walker had a team-high 11 kills to go with nine digs while classmate Keriann Mason added eight kills and a team-high 14 digs as Coast Guard opened up New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play with a 3-1 win over WPI.
The Bears, who have now won 15 straight home matches dating back to the 2010 season, improve to 3-4 overall and 1-0 in league play while WPI drops to 6-3 overall and 0-1 in the NEWMAC. Coast Guard won a share of the NEWMAC regular season championship with an 8-1 record in conference play last season.
WPI which had lost to Coast Guard 3-0 for 11 straight seasons, won a set against the Bears for the first time since 2000, when they lost 3-2.
Coast Guard, which was ranked sixth in the first New England Women's Volleyball Association regional poll released earlier today, won by set scores of 25-15, 21-25, 25-23, 25-17.
The Bears scored ten of 12 points turning a 6-4 lead into a 16-6 lead en route to a 25-15 win in the first set.
WPI answered in the second set by scoring four of the final five points turning a 21-20 lead into a 25-21 win. The Engineers led by as many as eight at 16-8 before Coast Guard scored six straight to pull to within 16-14, but WPI responded with a 5-2 spurt for a 21-16 edge.
In the third set, Coast Guard jumped out to a 5- 1 lead and led 16-10 before WPI rallied and took the lead 21-20 and pushed the lead to 23-21 before Coast Guard ran off the final four points for the 25-23 win.
The Bears used a 7-1 run in the fourth set to open a 16-9 lead and won 25-17 to close out the match.
Freshman Jenny Wallace led WPI with 15 kills while senior Belinda Nwagbara added 12 kills. Senior Lauren D'Angelo led the way with 33 digs while classmate Alex Rangel led the Engineers with 25 assists.
The Bears are back in action when they host Wheaton and Eastern Connecticut in a tri-match on Saturday.
Head volleyball coach Eric Snyder's post-game comments: