Blue Volleyball Moves to 2-2 With Five-Set Defeat of Geneseo

Junior Michelle Li (Julia Monaco)
Junior Michelle Li (Julia Monaco)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- It took all five sets but Wellesley College volleyball picked up the team's second win of the season on Friday, defeating SUNY Geneseo, 3-2 (25-23, 22-25, 20-25, 27-25, 15-8), on the opening night of the MIT Invitational at Rockwell Cage. 

Wellesley improves to 2-2, winning back-to-back matches after dropping their first two of the season last Friday at the Brandeis Invitational. Geneseo is now 2-3 on the year. 

First year Lauren Gedney (Huntersville, N.C.) paced the Blue in the match, registering a team-high 16 kills and 13 digs from the outside. Junior Samantha Ostenso (Hopkins, Minn) added 11 kills, her first double-digit output since September 20 of last season, on a team-best .276 attacking. Classmate Michelle Li (Scarsdale, N.Y.) finished with 44 assists and 11 digs, while classmate Samantha Hoang (Elk Grove, Calif.) led all Wellesley players with 23 digs. In all, five Wellesley players finished in double-figures on defense, as sophomore Meghan Shoop (Cypress, Calif.) and senior Alina Mota (Glendora, Calif.) added 16 and 11 digs, respectively.

Geneseo sophomore Grace Cergol (East Northport, N.Y.) was the star of the match in the setback for the Knights, registering a match-high 27 kills on 82 attempts. Cergol also added 18 digs, three aces and a pair of assists. Junior setter Emily Ast (Lancaster, N.Y.) paced the attack with 50 assists, also adding 10 digs. Sophomore Sam Mendelsohn (Buffalo, N.Y.) finished the night with 27 digs , while first year Alexandra Frank (Syracuse, N.Y.) was the only Geneseo player other than Cergol to register double-digit kills with 11. 

The Blue snuck by with a 25-23 victory in the opening set, before dropping the next two to the Knights. After Wellesley clinched the first game on a kill from first year Darina Postupaka (Tinley Park, Ill.), Geneseo rallied with victories of 25-22 and 25-20. With the Blue needing a victory to stay alive, the teams played to a 25-25 tie in the fourth set. Wellesley first year Nikki Jensen (Castro Valley, Calif.) proved to be the difference-maker in the deadlock, securing the final two kills in the frame to earn a 27-25 win for the Blue. 

The Blue never trailed in the deciding fifth game, taking a 4-0 lead and holding off a Geneseo surge at 8-6, before scoring seven of the final nine points on the night to win the set 15-8 and the match 3-2. 

Both teams continue play at the MIT Invitational tomorrow, Saturday, September 9. Wellesley will play Roger Williams at 10:00 AM and Endicott at 4:00 PM and Geneseo will play Babson at 10:00 AM and Springfield at 2:00 PM.