WELLESLEY, Mass. -- Senior Yasmine Reece (New Rochelle, N.Y.) and sophomore Lauren Gedney (Huntersville, N.C.) combined for 23 kills as Wellesley College volleyball survived the team's first five-set test of the season, defeating visiting UMass Boston, 3-2 (25-27, 25-10, 25-13, 18-25, 15-6), on Wednesday night at Dorothy Towne Fieldhouse.
The Blue are off to a 6-0 start to the season and a 3-0 start at home. UMass Boston is now 5-2 on the year. Wellesley has won three straight match-ups between the two teams dating back to 2016.
Reece racked-up a match-high 13 kills on 23 attempts, while Gedney put down 10. Reece also finished the match with four of Wellesley's 11 total blocks. Senior Samantha Hoang (Elk Grove, Calif.) scooped-up a match-best 18 digs and sophomore Molly Likes (Oklahoma City, Okla.) finished with a career-high six of Wellesley's 17 aces, including two in the deciding fifth game. Senior Michelle Li (Scarsdale, N.Y.) finished with 33 assists on Wellesley's 43 kills.
Senior Eileen Shi (San Francisco, Calif.) posted 11 kills and 11 digs to lead the Beacons, while rookie Marcelle Tiscareno (El Paso, Texas) matched her for team-high honors with 11 kills on just 22 attempts. Senior Macayla Chicano (Clearwater, Fla.) added 12 digs to lead the visitors on defense. Sophomore setter Carsen Komminsk (Worthington, Ohio) totaled 25 digs and three aces.
The Beacons got the early advantage in the match, outlasting the Blue for a 27-25 victory when an ace from Shi gave the visitors the win in a back-and-forth opening set. Wellesley trailed briefly to open set two, but quickly established their offense in a 25-10 rout that tied the match. The Blue hit .667 in the second set, taking a 20-9 lead before closing out the win on a kill from Gedney.
Wellesley jumped out to big lead in the third set, as they took a 15-6 edge following a kill from first year Nicole Doerges (San Marino, Calif.). The Blue would again lead 20-9 after a UMass Boston error before taking a 2-1 lead in the match thanks to a 25-13 final in set three. The fourth set saw the Beacons bounce back, battling the Blue to a 15-15 tie before scoring three straight points to jump ahead 18-15. UMass Boston never trailed after taking the 18-15 edge, sending the match to a fifth game with a 25-18 win.
The Blue would hold the lead throughout the deciding fifth game. With Wellesley leading 5-3, a kill from Shi brought UMass back within one, but the Beacons failed to get any closer. Wellesley scored the next four points to take a 9-4 advantage. A kill from junior Sarah Doyle (Glendale, Calif.) cut the run but Likes would help serve the Blue to the brink, recording two aces as part of a four point run that made the score 14-5. The Blue would go on to win the match on a kill from sophomore Nikki Jensen (Castro Valley, Calif.).
Wellesley will continue New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play on Saturday at 1:00 PM at Mount Holyoke. UMass Boston will travel to Castleton for their next match on Friday at 7:00 PM.