SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – Double-digit kills from three different players propelled Wheaton College past Mount Holyoke College in conference action on Saturday. Wheaton now improves to 8-7 overall and 1-2 in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) while MHC falls to 2-7 overall and 0-4 in conference play.
Sophomore outside hitter Cathryn MacGregor (N. Andover, Mass/Acad. Of Notre Dame Tyngsboro) led Wheaton with a team best 13 kills and added 13 digs. Junior right side hitter Allison Cox (Torrance, Calif./West Torrance) and sophomore middle hitter Claire Cansler (Newhall. Calif./William S. Hart) each contributed 10 kills, while first year setter Becca Haughton (Emmaus, Penn./Emmaus) recorded a match-high 35 assists.
For Mount Holyoke, several players contributed match-high efforts including sophomore middle hitter Joy Maran (Sante Fe. N.M./Sante Fe Prep) who led the game with 14 kills and four service aces. Sophomore libero Cameron Graham (Sarasota, Fla./The Out of Door Academy) led the game with 18 digs, while freshman middle hitter Sasha Simine (Kitchener. Ont./Cameron Heights College Institute) led the match with two block solos and three block assists.
Wheaton came out strong gaining an 18-11 advantage in the first set. MHC closed the gap to five after a kill by Maran, but Wheaton rallied at the end of the set to end the match, 25-19.
In the second set, the tables turned and Mount Holyoke held a sizable advantage, going up 22-9 after a kill by Maran. Wheaton battled late but still gave way to a surging MHC squad, dropping the set, 25-13.
Late in the third set, Mount Holyoke came to within three after once being down by as much as seven earlier in the frame. With the score at 23-20 after a Graham kill, Wheaton was able to score two straight points on kills by first year defensive specialist Nikita Selivan (Lexington, Mass./Lexington) and Becca Houghton (Emmaus, Penn./Emmaus) to win the set.
In the fourth set, MHC came out hot, getting out to a 17-10 advantage. Back-to-back kills by Wheaton's MacGregor lead to a Mount Holyoke timeout and a slimmed margin of only four. The visitors battled back and suddenly found themselves knotted up at 24-all. With a service ace by Cox, Wheaton was up one with the set, and game in hand. Sophomore middle hitter Sarah Caggiano (Leonardtown, Md./Leonardtown) answered the call and scored two kills in a row.
Despite the momentum, a costly setting error against Mount Holyoke put Wheaton in prime position to win the match, going up 27-26. First year Cameron Mercer (Park City, Utah/Park City) sealed the win, putting down the game-winning kill.
Following today's match, MHC will compete in their final game of September on the road against conference rival Wellesley at 7:00pm Tuesday night. Wheaton will also be on the road Tuesday, facing Rhode Island College in a non-conference affair at 7:00pm.