Blue Volleyball Rallies For 3-1 Win Over Emerson In NEWMAC Opener

Yasmine Reece and Nicole Doerges combined for 27 kills in the Blue victory (Julia Monaco).
Yasmine Reece and Nicole Doerges combined for 27 kills in the Blue victory (Julia Monaco).

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- Senior Yasmine Reece (New Rochelle, N.Y.) put down a match-high 22 kills to help Wellesley College volleyball rally for a 3-1 (21-25, 25-14, 25-15, 26-24) win over Emerson College in New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) volleyball action on Tuesday evening at Dorothy Towne Fieldhouse.

The Blue staged a furious rally to close the fourth set and improve to 5-0 (1-0 NEWMAC) to open 2018. Emerson is now 6-2 (0-1 NEWMAC), having lost two of their last three after opening the season at 5-0. 

Reece totaled a .400 attack percentage to lead the Blue, who also saw first year outside hitter Nicole Doerges (San Marino, Calif.) record her first career double-double with 10 kills and 12 digs. Sophomore Lauren Gedney (Huntersville, N.C.) added 14 kills and senior Samantha Hoang (Elk Grove, Calif.) finished with a match-high 19 digs. Senior setter Michelle Li (Scarsdale, N.Y.) added 36 assists and three digs.

Outside hitters Carolyn Vaimoso (Torrance, Calif.) and Grace Tepper (Kensington, Md.) combined for 28 kills to lead the Lions, with Vaimoso recording a team-high 15 to go along with 12 digs and Tepper adding 13 kills. Sophomore Albany Alexander (Orlando, Fla.) chipped in with nine kills. Senior setter Moira Brennan (Glenview, Ill.) dished out 33 assists and collected 11 digs, while classmate Fara Cohen (Morristown, N.J.) added 12 digs, five kills and a pair of aces.

Emerson broke a 12-12 tie midway through the first set and went on to score seven of the next nine points to take a 19-12 lead. Back-to-back kills from Gedney and Reece helped Wellesley close the gap to 19-16, but the Lions would never trail in the late stages, holding off a late Wellesley rally to take the opener, 25-21. The Blue followed with commanding back-to-back set victories to regain control of the match. Wellesley surged to an 11-5 advantage to start the second game, eventually taking a 20-12 lead on a kill from Gedney before closing out a 25-14 win on an ace from Becca Aristotelidis (San Antonio, Texas). The third set followed a similar script, as the Blue jumped to a 19-10 edge following five straight Emerson errors. A kill from Doerges would close out the game, 25-15, and give the Blue a 2-1 edge.

The Lions flipped the script on Wellesley to start the fourth game, taking a 5-1 lead following a kill from Tepper at the start of the set. Wellesley closed the gap to 11-9, but Emerson would eventually take a 20-12 lead. Wellesley scored six straight points to cut the deficit to 20-18 after Gedney rocked down another kill. Emerson countered with three points to take a 23-18 edge, as a kill and an ace from Cohen and a Blue miscue left the Lions two points away from a fifth set. However, Wellesley would close out the match by scoring eight of the final nine points to take a 26-24 set win and a 3-1 match win. 

Wellesley returns to action tomorrow at 7:00 PM when they host UMass Boston. Emerson will host Coast Guard and Endicott in a tri-match on Saturday beginning at 12:00 PM.