Wellesley Eliminates Bears

SPRINGFIELD, MASS.--(11/5/11)--Sydney Carfagno had 13 kills while Isabel Custodio added 11 kills as third-seeded Wellesley knocked off second-seeded Coast Guard 3-1 (24-26, 25-18, 25-20, 25-19) in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) tournament semifinals at Springfield College.

Wellesley will take on top-seeded and host Springfield in the NEWMAC tournament championship game. Springfield was a 3-0 winner over fourth-seeded MIT in the first semifinal of the day. The winner gets an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III tournament.

Coast Guard had its winning streak snapped at nine dropping to 23-6 on the season while Wellesley improved to 23-8 overall.

The Pride, who are 30-2 and ranked 19th in the nationally, were regular season NEWMAC co-champions with Coast Guard. Springfield beat visiting Coast Guard 3-1 during the regular season this year which is why the Pride are the top seed after both finished 8-1 in NEWMAC regular season play.

Coast Guard jumped out to an early 7-3 lead in the opening game before Wellesley rallied to take a 12-11 edge. The Bears responded with five of the next six points taking a 16-13 lead. Coast Guard led 18-16 and ran off five straight to take what seemed to be a commanding 23-16 lead before the Blue scored seven straight to tie the set at 23-23. DePorto had a kill for a 24-23 edge before Wellesley fought off set point and tied it 24-24. Back-to-back kills by juniors Catherine Walker and Keriann Mason gave the Bears a 26-24 win in the opener.

In the second game, Wellesley used a 6-1 spurt turning an early deficit into a 12-8 lead. The Blue maintained their lead and tied the match with a 25-18 win.

Wellesley used a 5-1 run to open up a 17-12 lead in the third game and never looked back posting a 25-20 win in game three.

The Blue closed jumped out to a 14-6 lead in the final game and never looked back winning 25-19.

Walker led the Bears with 17 kills to go with 15 digs while Mason finished with ten kills and a team-high 20 digs.

Junior Karen Matic added ten kills to go with her team-high 26 assists.

Coast Guard beat Wellesley, on its home court, 3-0 in the regular season (25-22, 25-18, 25-14). The Bears were the only team to sweep the Blue this season.

The Bears will await word on a possible berth to the ECAC New England Division III tournament on Monday.