NEW LONDON, Conn.--Senior Kelsey DePorto had a season-high 23 kills while freshman Rebekah Muller had 10 kills and a career-high 25 digs leading Coast Guard to a thrilling 3-2 win over Smith in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) game.
Coast Guard won the first two games 25-18 and 25-12 before Smith rallied to tie the match winning 26-24, 25-23 before the Bears won the fifth and deciding game 15-11 for the victory.
Smith had its win streak snapped at three and suffered its first conference loss of the season to drop to 8-2 overall and 2-1 in NEWMAC play. Coast Guard ran its win streak to three and has now won nine of its last ten improving to 9-3 overall and 2-1 in the conference.
The Bears jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the opener and a 6-2 lead in game two and never looked back to take the 2-0 lead.
Smith stayed alive with the 26-24 win in game three rallying from a 16-10 deficit. Coast Guard led 22-20 before the Pioneers scored four straight for a 24-22 lead. The Bears tied it 24-24 before Smith scored the final two.
The Pioneers evened the match with a 25-23 win in the fourth game. Coast Guard led 12-7 before Smith ran off six straight for a 13-12 edge. Neither team led by more than one before Smith took a 23-21 lead, but Coast Guard tied it 23-23 before once again Smith scored the final two to even things.
Coast Guard jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the fifth and final set. Smith got as close as two on several occasions, the last one being 12-10 before Coast guard scored three of tehe final four points.
Senior co-captain Samantha Marmolejo moved into second place on the Bears all-time digs list as she finished with 18 digs to bring her career total to 1,466 passing passing Cassie Janssen ('94-'97), who finished with 1,465 digs.
Sophomore Maggie Hine led the Bears a career-high 49 assists to go with ten digs while sophomore Ashley Dumont added ten kills and classmate Kelsey Hickle and junior Elise Sako each added ten digs in the win.
Senior Rosa Drummond led Smith with 18 kills while senior Paige Sarlandt had 12 kills and sophomore Mei-Li Smith added ten kills and 15 digs for the Pioneers. Freshman Julie Voorhees led the way with 20 digs for Smith while junior Kristi Hammond added 16 and senior Bethany Ashworth had 11 digs and team-high 41 assists.
Coast Guard is back in action on Thursday when they visit WPI in a NEWMAC match set for 7 p.m.
POST GAME COMMENTS FROM HEAD COACH AYLENE ILKSON