WPI Rallies Past Western New England, 3-2

WPI Rallies Past Western New England, 3-2

Senior setter Jenna Leuck records career-high 42 assists and 22 digs for Golden Bears

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (September 1, 2016) – The Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) volleyball team rallied late in the fifth set to claim a 3-2 (25-21, 26-28, 20-25, 25-23, 15-13) season-opening victory over Western New England University this evening in non-conference action at the Alumni Healthful Living Center.

Top Performers
Senior setter Jenna Leuck (Dumont, N.J.) dished out a match and career best 42 assists and also recorded 22 digs, four kills, three block assists and three aces for the Golden Bears.
• Junior outside hitter Alona Kornberg (Fair Lawn, N.J.) posted a double-double with ten kills and 18 digs.
• In her Western New England debut, junior outside hitter Emmaline Chiodini (Saint Louis, Mo.) contributed 20 digs and eight kills.

• Sophomore outside hitter Casey Hunt (Granby, Conn.) paced the visitors with 17 kills, 18 digs, two aces and two block assists.
• Junior Kelly Rathje (Scituate, Mass.) and senior Cassandra Tomerlin (La Quinta, Calif.) had three aces each and led WPI's defensive effort with a combined 49 digs.

How it Happened
WPI jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the opening set and was able to hold off a late Western New England rally to claim a 25-21 victory and a 1-0 advantage in the match.
• Western New England evened the contest with a hard-fought, 28-26 win in the second stanza, and then pulled ahead with a 25-20 triumph in the third frame after posting a match-best .340 hitting percentage with 17 kills and just one error in 47 total attempts.
• The Golden Bears led 22-19 in the fourth set, but fell victim to a 6-1 run the rest of the way as the Engineers were able to force a fifth set.
• Trailing 6-0 early in the deciding frame, Western New England rallied to take a 13-11 lead, but WPI scored the final four points of the match to pull out the 3-2 win. 

Junior outside hitter Sam Heffer (Bethpage, N.Y.) led the Golden Bear offense with a team-high 13 kills on a team-best .243 hitting percentage.
• Leuck's 42 assists were 11 more than her previous career-high of 31, set at Colby on October 24 of last season.
• Six different Golden Bears had at least one ace, led by sophomore Emily Woodford (Belchertown, Mass.) and Leuck's team-high total of three. Woodford also paced the Western New England defense with 23 digs.

Up Next
Western New England (0-1) returns to action on Saturday with two matches at Mount Holyoke College. The Golden Bears will take on the host Lyons at 11 a.m., before facing St. Joseph (Conn.) at 1 p.m. WPI (1-0) opens the Worcester City Tournament against Nichols on Saturday morning.