Bears Fall at Wellesley
WELLESLEY, Mass.--Wellesley celebrated senior night with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-18, 25-21) win over the Coast Guard Academy on Tuesday night at Keohane Sports Center. The win lifts the Blue to 26-4 for the season, 9-0 in the NEWMAC. The Bears drop to 21-7, 5-4 in conference play.
All six Wellesley seniors contributed to the win, combining for 27 digs, 24 kills, four blocks, and two aces as the Blue hit .295 while holding the visitors to .101 at the net.
Wellesley edged to a 10-5 lead in the opening set on a 5-point serving run from Maddie Koh. Coast Guard's Kelsey DePorto stopped the run with kill down the line, but the Blue pushed to a 19-10 advantage with two kills from Kellyn O'Brady and one each from Ali Binney and Kira Jordan. The Bears made a late surge, courtesy of two swings from Ashley Dumont, but the Blue held on for the 25-17 win.
The Bears inched to an early lead in set two, but Wellesley quickly rebounded to take an 11-5 lead with two aces from Sydney Carfagno and kills from Megan Mills and O'Brady. The Bears responded with a run of their own, using another Dumont kill and two aces from Susan West to cut the advantage to 12-11. But Wellesley broke away for good on an O'Brady serving run, opening a 19-13 lead in route to the 25-18 win.
Set three followed the same script as set two, as the Bears jumped to an early advantage before another Carfagno run from the service line opened a 15-7 lead for the Blue. Coast Guard gradually battled back with strong net play from Rebekah Muller and solid serving from Samantha Marmolejo and Emily Gilland, eventually trimming the lead to 19-17. The squads traded sideouts before a Courtney Lang kill and a Coast Guard error sealed the 25-21 win for the Blue.
Wellesley's O'Brady led all players with 11 kills, recording just one error to hit .455 on the night. Carfagno added 10 kills, four aces and a pair of blocks, while Mills picked up nine kills, hitting .667 with two blocks. Lang rounded out the Blue offense with six kills, hitting .417. Traci Hamanaka recorded a match-high of 18 digs, while Maddie Koh recorded 19 assists and Hilary Ayers added 16.
For Coast Guard, DePorto totaled nine kills, while Muller added eight. Three players recorded five digs each (Maggie Hine, Marmolejo, Muller), while Hine also dished out 19 assists and added three aces.
Both teams will close out the NEWMAC regular season on Saturday at 1:00pm. Wellesley will travel to Springfield for a winner-take-all match for the top seed in the upcoming NEWMAC tournament.
Coast Guard will close out the regular season on Saturday when the Bears host MIT. A win would clinch the #4 seed, a home game and rematch in the NEWMAC tournament on Tuesday night against fifth-seeded MIT.
If Coast Guard loses on Saturday, the Bears will be on the road to start the NEWMAC tournament against an opponent to be determined.