WORCESTER – Sophomore Azita Bakhtyari (Andover, MA) totaled 22 assists and 16 digs and made a pair of spectacular plays toward the end of the match as WPI tamed Emerson, 3-1, in a NEWMAC volleyball matchup Tuesday night at Harrington Auditorium. The Engineers bookended the match with a pair of 25-17 sets while Emerson took the second (25-20) and the hosts claimed the third 25-23.
With the win, WPI ups its record to 9-1 overall and 2-1 in conference action. Emerson, meanwhile, dips to 9-4 and 1-2.
Senior Maddy Werth (Bedford, MA) swatted a trio of kills and added a block assist to lead the Crimson and Gray to an early 7-0 advantage in the opening set. Emerson interrupted the Boynton Hillers flow thanks to a kill by senior Annie Hall (Okemos, MI). The Lions began to chip away and eventually evened the set at 15-15 following a kill by senior Jules Augustine (Skaneateles, NY). The Engineers pulled away once again and forced a timeout at 21-16 before going on to take the opener 25-17.
While both teams were relatively even in terms of attack percentage in the first set (.190 to .122), Emerson posted a .259 in the second compared to the Engineers .029. The Lions turned a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 lead following a miscue. WPI was down by as much as five (10-5) and later leveled the set at 16-16, 18-18 and 19-19. Emerson closed out the set with a 6-1 run punctuated by a kill courtesy of sophomore Fara Cohen (Morristown, NJ).
With the third set tied at 8-8, senior Cassandra Tomerlin (La Quinta, CA) served up a pair of aces and junior Kat Hurlock (Burlington, CT) recorded a kill to put the Engineers ahead by three. Later in the frame, Emerson pulled within a point at 22-21. The guests then staved off a set point before a kill by freshman Sandra Duarte (Valencia, CA) secured the set for the Engineers. Emerson continued to hit well with a .245 percentage while the hosts posted a .241.
The fourth set was close until WPI went on a 10-1 run for the 18-11 lead. Emerson answered with a 5-1 spurt; however the hosts closed out the match with a 6-1 outburst.
Sophomore Casey Hunt (Granby, CT) also handed in a double-double for the Boynton Hillers with 11 kills and 18 digs while Werth notched a team-best 12 swipes. Senior Shay Feeley (Franklin, MA) added 17 assists as Tomerlin finished with 20 digs and six service aces.
Cohen (10 kills, 11 digs), freshman Bella Edwards (Palisades, CA) (12 kills, 16 digs) and sophomore Moira Brennan (Glenview, IL) (45 assists, 13 digs) posted double-doubles for the Lions to go along with a match-best 14 kills by Augustine. Senior Amanda Linzmeyer (Huntington Beach, CA) totaled a match-best 25 digs while junior Sam Harton (Cartersville, GA) pitched in with 10.
For the match, WPI edged Emerson .186 to .170 in attack percentage.
WPI travels to Coast Guard for a 7pm match Thursday night. Emerson steps out of conference play with a 7pm match at Brandeis, also on Thursday.
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