Worcester, MA --- Sophomore Belinda Nwagbara (Santa Rosa, CA) led WPI with 10 kills and had four digs to help the Engineers begin the 2010 volleyball campaign Wednesday night with a 3-0 win over visiting Simmons. The Crimson and Gray won the match by scores of 25-22, 25-11, 25-22.
Sophomore libero Jocelyn Close (Ellington, CT) and classmate Lauren D'Angelo (Wallingford, CT) helped the WPI cause with eight digs each, while setters Kim Woodward (Clifton Park, NY) and Alex Rangel (Weston, FL) combined for 20 assists.
On the evening WPI posted an impressive .338 hitting percentage with Bailey Sarber (Westerly, RI) and Elyssa Dorenfeld (Reading, MA) smashing eight and six kills, respectively, without making an error and rookie Holly Ganser (Seward, AK) totaling six kills with just one error in 11 attempts.
Meaghan Flynn (Laguna Beach, CA) led the way for the Sharks, narrowly missing a double-double. The junior registered 10 kills and nine digs while Krista Evans (Killen, AL) added three kills and two aces. Setter Rachel Dufault (Westport, MA) paced all players with 20 assists on the night to go along with a pair of aces.
The first set of the match was a close one with neither team ahead by more than three points. Dorenfeld served four straight points late in the set to put the hosts ahead for good.
Set two looked like the Crimson and Gray rid themselves of first match jitters. The Engineers took control from the first rotation. The highlight of the set saw Kerrin Beovich (Seaford, NY) reel off five serves late in the set.
The third set patterned the first with neither team leading by more than three points. WPI sealed the victory when Nwagbara collected her 10th kill of the evening.
WPI is back in action this weekend as it looks to defend its championship at the Regis Tournament. The Engineers face host Regis, Suffolk and Division II Assumption on Saturday beginning at 8am and take on Worcester State, Rhode Island College and Framingham State on Sunday starting at 9:30am. Simmons returns to the court on Friday, entertaining North Central (IL) in its home opener at 3pm.