WORCESTER – Senior Maddy Werth (Bedford, MA) tied her career-high of 18 kills, hit .429, added 11 digs, and was instrumental in forcing the fifth set as WPI rallied past Salve Regina, 3-2 (19-25, 25-21, 19-25, 28-26, 15-13), Thursday night in a non-conference women's volleyball matchup inside Harrington Auditorium.
With the win, the Engineers improve to 12-3 and the Seahawks slip to 8-7.
Neither team went ahead by more than three in the fourth set until a kill by WPI sophomore Casey Hunt (Granby, CT) made it 12-8 in favor of the Engineers. The margin increased to seven before Salve Regina went on a four-point surge. WPI countered with three only to see the Seahawks rattle off five and pull within one (18-17). Back-to-back kills by sophomore Cassidy Trablicy (Phoenix, AZ) evened the set at 22-22 and a miscue gave the guests the lead. Each side had their chances before Werth used consecutive swipes to force the fifth set.
The deciding set was tied as late as 10-10. Kills by junior Melissa Daigle (Norfolk, MA) and Werth along with an ace served up by sophomore Azita Bakhtyari (Andover, MA) pushed the Engineers in front 13-10. Another kill by Werth cued up the first match point. Trablicy then used a pair of swipes to cut the guests deficit to one (14-13). The match ultimately ended following a Seahawk miscue.
The opening stanza was a close one until the guests took a lead at 17-16 courtesy of a kill by sophomore Erin Proctor (Canton, MA). Salve Regina later enjoyed a 21-16 advantage before Hunt halted the spurt with a kill. Freshman Annie Donahue (Chelmsford, MA) responded with three consecutive swipes to make it 24-17. An attack and rotation miscue prolonged the set before junior Francesca Testani (Shelton, CT) delivered the decisive kill.
WPI took an early 4-1 margin in the second set. Salve began to slowly chip away and knot the frame at 11-11 thanks to an Engineer miscue. The Crimson and Gray eventually forged a 21-15 cushion en route to tying the match at 1-1. Salve Regina, however, kept it interesting by staving off three set points, including a kill by sophomore Kendall Wilcox (Pomfret, CT).
The Seahawks flew out to a 3-0 lead and cruised to the third-set triumph behind five swipes by Trablicy and a dozen assists by Proctor.
Hunt also had a double-double for the Boynton Hillers with 16 kills and 21 digs as did Bakhtyari with 32 assists and 13 digs. Daigle chipped in with 13 kills as senior Shay Feeley (Franklin, MA) doled out 27 helpers. Senior Cassandra Tomerlin (La Quinta, CA) led the team with 29 digs followed by Hunt, junior Kelly Rathje (Scituate, MA) (18), Bakhtyari and Werth. Hunt and sophomore Victoria Nassar (Salem, NH) each served up a pair of aces as freshman Sandra Duarte (Valencia, CA) tallied six kills, six digs and a trio of block assists. Junior Kat Hurlock (Burlington, CT) was a kill short of double digits classmate Brooke Klepper (Miami Beach, FL) was in on a block and block assist.
Trablicy paced the Seahawks with 27 digs and 21 kills. Donahue logged 20 kills and Testani handed in 11. Proctor accounted for 57 of the teams 65 assists. Sophomore Megan Parham (Tulsa, OK) led all student-athletes with 37 digs and three aces. Junior Morgan VanderBaan (Douglas, MA) contributed 18 and sophomore Sydney Puffer (Kittery, ME) chipped in with 11.
The Seahawks (.238 overall) out hit the Engineers (.213 overall) in the first three sets while the Boynton Hillers had the numbers in the fourth and fifth.
WPI opens October with a road tri-match Saturday as the Engineers face Curry at 1pm and host Salem State at 3pm. Salem State then travels to Salve Regina Tuesday for a 7pm start.