Balanced Attack Leads Blue Volleyball to 3-1 Win Over Mount Holyoke

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

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- Junior setter Michelle Li (Scarsdale, N.Y.) captained a well-balanced, high-powered Wellesley College volleyball offense in a 3-1 win over Mount Holyoke College in the Blue's home opener on Saturday afternoon at Dorothy Towne Fieldhouse.

The win lifts the Blue to 5-3 overall (2-0 NEWMAC). The Lyons drop to 4-3 and 0-2 in the conference.

Li dished out 26 assists to 11 different hitters, as Wellesley hit a season-high .315 for the match. First year Lauren Gedney (Huntersville, N.C.) had nine kills to lead the Blue offense, while junior Samantha Ostenso (Hopkins, Minn.) added eight and first year Nikki Jensen (Castro Valley, Calif.) had six. First year Becca Aristotelidis (San Antonio, Texas) and sophomore Meghan Shoop (Cypress, Calif.) finished with eight and seven digs, respectively, to lead the Blue on defense.

Three Mount Holyoke players finished with double-digit dig totals in the match, with junior Cameron Graham (Sarasota, Fla.) leading the way with 11 and juniors Isabell Linde (Red Bank, N.J.) and Sarah Gaggiano (Leonardtown, Md.) both finishing with 10. Sophomore Sasha Simine (Kitchener, Ontario) geared the Mount Holyoke attack with a team-high eight kills, with junior Jamesa Allen (Orlando, Fla.) finishing just behind the sophomore with seven kills. Junior Melissa Stewart (San Diego, Calif.), nine assists, and first year Brayden Walden (McKinney, Texas), 14 assists, split the setting duties for the Lyons. 

Wellesley stormed to a 25-6 win in the opener, hitting .562 as a squad, while posting 10 kills and making just one hitting error in the win. The Blue followed with 10 more kills in a 25-12 second game victory to go up 2-0 in the match. Mount Holyoke rallied in the third game, using a 3-0 run in the middle of the game to a take a 17-12 edge en route to a 25-22 win that would send the match to a fourth game. The Blue regained the momentum in game four, hitting .355 with 13 kills, while never trailing in the set, to close out the 3-1 match win with a 25-16 set win. 

Wellesley takes the court on Tuesday, September 19, hosting Wheaton College at 7:00 PM on Ovarian Cancer Awareness Night. The Lyons also return to action on Tuesday evening when they host Coast Guard in a 7:00 PM NEWMAC matchup.