Wellesley Volleyball Falls to Wheaton in Conclusion of Halted Match

Wheaton was leading 2-0 and 19-16 in the third set at the time the match was suspended (Julia Monaco).
Wheaton was leading 2-0 and 19-16 in the third set at the time the match was suspended (Julia Monaco).

NORTON, Mass. -- Wheaton College volleyball earned a 25-20 victory in the third set to defeat Wellesley College volleyball, 3-0 (25-15, 25-23, 25-20), in the conclusion of the halted New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) match between the two teams on Thursday evening at Emerson Gymnasium.

Wheaton improves to 19-3 overall and 5-2 in the NEWMAC with the victory. The Blue, who trailed 19-16 in the third set at the time play resumed, drop to 13-3 and 6-2 in conference.

Senior Claire Cansler (Newhall, Calif.) finished with a match-high 12 kills to lead the Lyons. Sophomores Julia Palomba (San Carlos, Calif.) and Casey Dinga (Windham, N.H.) each added seven kills and junior Becca Houghton (Emmaus, Penn.) totaled 31 assists. First year Adara Hamilton (Mercer Island, Wash.) and senior Cat MacGregor (North Andover, Mass.) combined for 17 digs on defense. 

Sophomore Lauren Gedney (Huntersville, N.C.) totaled nine kills to lead Wellesley. Senior setter Michelle Li (Scarsdale, N.Y.) picked-up 25 assists, while Yasmine Reece (New Rochelle, N.Y.) and first year Nicole Doerges (San Marino, Calif.) each chipped in with seven kills. Senior Samantha Hoang (Elk Grove, Calif.) totaled nine digs to lead the Blue.

Thursday's match was started on September 19th. The Lyons opened with a 25-15 victory in the first set, jumping to a 10-1 lead out of the gate. Wheaton never trailed in the first set, as a kill from Cansler would increase the Blue deficit to 19-10 and force a Wellesley timeout. Wheaton would go on to close out the 25-15 win after the break.

Wellesley jumped to a 10-6 lead in the second set, but a 6-1 Wheaton run capped by a Nikita Selivan (Lexington, Mass.) ace tied the match at 11-11. The teams battled to ties of 22-22 and 23-23 before a Wellesley error and a Wheaton kill by Dinga put the Blue in a 2-0 hole with a 25-23 setback.

The Blue fell behind, 13-6, to open the third set. Back-to-back kills from Reece cut the deficit to 13-8, as the Blue would go on to cut the Wheaton lead to just two, at 18-16. Following a Wellesley timeout, Cansler powered down a kill to make the score 19-16. However, play was halted as the court conditions were deemed unplayable. Once play resumed, Wheaton went on to secure the final six points needed to win the set, 25-20, as Wellesley only got as close as 21-19 following a Wheaton error. 

Wellesley returns home for Homecoming and Senior Day when they host Geneseo (9:00 AM) and Plymouth St. (1:00 PM) on Saturday. Wheaton will host Western New England and the University of New England in a tri-match on Saturday at 11:00 AM.