WELLESLEY, Mass.--In a battle of NEWMAC unbeatens, Wellesley College came out on top, with a 3-1 victory over Coast Guard on Tuesday evening in women's volleyball action at Wellesley. The Blue improved to 9-0 (3-0 NEWMAC), downing the Bears (5-5, 2-1) with set scores of 25-16, 21-25, 25-17, and 25-23.
In a rematch of the NEWMAC tournament semfinal won by Wellesley last season, the Blue
had little trouble in set one, using an 8-0 run midway through play to build an 18-5 advantage with Sydney Carfagno at the serving line. Coast Guard went on a mini run of its own, as Emily Gilland recorded two aces and scored five straight points to bring the visitors to within seven at 18-11. Wellesley regained control of the set, as a kill by Jessica Mullen made it 23-13 Wellesley. The Bears made some noise down the stretch, but several costly errors handed Wellesley the set, 25-16.
Coast Guard opened the second set, with a slim 6-4 edge after a Keriann Mason kill. The teams then went back and forth, until Coast Guard took a 16-12 lead on a Karen Matic serving run. Wellesley responded with hard serving from Carfagno, who knotted the set at 17-17. From that point on, it was all Coast Guard, as kills from Catherine Walker and Kelsey DePorto powered the Bears to a 25-21 set victory.
In the third set, Wellesley gained momentum early, as Hilary Ayers led the Blue to a 12-5 lead, which included two service aces. The Bears could get no closer than seven points, cutting the Wellesley lead down to that margin on three occasions, but the Blue finished strong, taking the set, 25-17.
The fourth and final set was the closest of the evening, featuring four early lead changes. Wellesley seemed to take control midway through play, after a Coast Guard attack error gave the Blue a 14-11 advantage. The Bears fired back, though, using tough serving from Ashley Dumont to tie the match at 22-22. A Walker kill then gave Coast Guard a 23-22 edge, but Wellesley rallied back, scoring three straight points and taking the match on a service ace off the hand of Hu. Hu's ace gave Wellesley the 25-23 set, and 3-1 match victory.
Coast Guard was paced at the net by Keriann Mason's 13 kills, followed by DePorto with 10 and Walker with eight. Deporto also added six blocks to lead all players. Mason and Samantha Marmolejo anchored the Bears defense with 15 and 13 digs, respectively, while Matic recorded 27 assists in the loss.
For the Blue, Custodio notched her first triple double of the season, recording 18 digs, 18 assists, and 13 kills while hitting .400 for the match. Carfagno led all players with 19 kills and Mullen chipped in nine. Defensively, five Wellesley players tallied double-figures in digs, as the Blue out-dug Coast Guard 77 to 58 while holding the visitors to a .107 hitting percentage. Rounding out the stat leaders for the Blue, Ayers dished out 18 assists while also picking up a career-high 16 digs.
Coast Guard returns to action on Friday, September 21, at 7pm, when they host Middlebury in the first round of this weekend's Bear Classic. Wellesley will take the court on Friday at 4pm, when they face Simmons in the opening match of the MIT Invitational.