Bears Advance to 12th Straight NEWMAC Semifinals
NEW LONDON, Conn.--Senior Keriann Mason match highs with 21 kills and 26 digs leading fourth-seeded Coast Guard to a 3-1 win over fifth-seeded WPI in the quarterfinals of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) tournament.
The Bears dropped the first game 25-23 before winning 25-21, 25-18, 25-18.
Coast Guard went unbeaten at home (13-0) for the second straight season and won its school-record tying 26th consecutive home match dating back to the 2010 season.
The Bears, who advance to the semifinals for the 12th straight season, improve to 18-13 overall and will take on top-seed and host Wellesley on Saturday at 1 p.m. in the semifinals.
Wellesley beat the Bears twice this season 3-1 at Wellelsey on Sept. 18th and 3-0 at Bowdoin on Oct. 13th. The Blue also beat Coast Guard 3-1 in the NEWMAC tournament semifinals last season at Springfield.
In the opening game, WPI led 18-16 before Coast Guard scored four of the next five for a 20-19 lead. The Bears led 23-21 and appeared to be closing in on the opening game win before WPI scored the final four to win 25-23.
In the second game, Coast Guard scored four straight to take a 12-8 lead, WPI scored three straight to close to within 12-11, but the Bears answered with three straight for a a 15-11 edge and won 25-21.
WPI led 11-10 in the third game before Coast Guard scored four straight for a 14-11 advantage. The Bears led 19-16 and scored six of the next eight for the 25-18 win.
Coast Guard led 18-15 in the final game and took control with five straight points behind the serving of freshman Maggie Hine for a 23-15 lead before winning 25-18.
Junior Kelsey DePorto had 13 kills and a match-high four blocks while Hine had a match-high 42 assists in the win. Junior Samantha Marmolejo added 20 digs while senior Karen Matic had 14 digs to go with her six kills. Senior Catherine Walker added eight kills and three blocks in the win.
Senior Bailey Sarber had 13 kills while classmate Belinda Nwagbara added 12 kills for WPI, which has never appeared in the NEWMAC semifinals.
Senior Alyssa Fidanza led the Engineers with 30 assists and 17 digs while seniors Elyssa Dorenfeld and Lauren D'Angelo added 16 and 15 digs respectively. The Engineers finish the season with a record of 19-9.
Head Coach Eric Snyder's Post Game Comments