SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. - The Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) volleyball team held off a late-charge by Mount Holyoke College to post a 3-0 (25-7, 25-11, 25-17) straight-set victory in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Tuesday evening. The win moves the Engineers to 10-3 overall and 2-3 in conference play. The Lyons are now 6-6 and 0-5 in the NEWMAC.
After making a statement in the opening set with a 25-7 win, the Engineers came out hot once again in the second frame as a pair of kills from junior outside hitter Colleen Mullins (Andover, Mass./Andover) put the visitors up by a 12-4 margin. WPI capitalized on a number of MHC errors, eventually pushing the margin to 20-8 on a Lyons' ball handling error, but Mount Holyoke senior captain Sarah Caggiano (Leonardtown, Md./Leonardtown) cut the gap to 24-11 with a pair of strikes. Despite the momentum, WPI saw sophomore middle hitter Amanda Wetmore (Hudson, N.H./Alvirne) lay down the final kill for the set win.
In the third set, the Engineers jumped out to a 6-1 lead behind three kills and a number of Lyons' errors, but the home team battled back as a kill from senior outside hitter Isabell Linde (Red Bank, N.J./Red Bank Catholic) tied the set at 14-all. WPI charged back into the lead behind four kills from Mullins for a 19-15 lead, along with an advantage that the visitors would not relinquish for the match win.
WPI also saw Mullins post a match-best six service aces, adding three digs and a block assist. Sophomore middle hitter Sarah Kwatinetz (Seattle, Wash./Garfield) had six kills, while senior setter Azita Bakhtyari (Andover, Mass./Andover) posted a match-high 30 assists to go along with 14 digs.
For Mount Holyoke, senior captain Jamesa Allen (Orlando, Fla./Lake Nona) had five kills. Caggiano added four kills, while rookie outside hitter Sarah Bishop (Rutland, Mass./Wachusett Regional) had four kills as well. Sophomore setter Brayden Walden (McKinney, Texas/McKinney North) added 15 assists, while senior libero Cameron Graham (Sarasota, Fla./The Out of Door Academy) recorded a match-high 17 digs.
MHC returns to action on Friday when it welcomes MIT for a 6pm conference tilt. WPI is back on the court on Thursday, hosting Salve Regina at 7pm.