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Blue Volleyball Earns 3-0 Win Over Castleton, Drops 3-0 Final to Rivier

Mikayla Tansil '25 (Frank Poulin)
Mikayla Tansil '25 (Frank Poulin)

NASHUA, N.H. – Wellesley College volleyball split a pair of matches with Rivier and Castelton during a tri-match on Saturday at Rivier's Muldoon Gymnasium. The Blue dropped a 3-0 final to the host Raiders but bounced back for a 3-0 sweep over Castleton. Rivier defeated Castleton 3-0 in the day's other match. 

Rivier 3, Wellesley 0

Rivier earned 25-14 victories in each of the first two sets to take a 3-0 (25-14, 25-14, 25-22) sweep over the Blue. Rivier senior Olivia Garand (Litchfield, N.H.) had five of the Raiders' 16 service aces to lead the hosts to the victory.

Graduate student Sydney Racevicius (Woodbury, Conn.) finished with six kills and six digs for the Raiders (4-1 overall). Graduate student Avery Pollard (Ballston Lake, N.Y.) added a team-high seven digs.

Junior Kate Salembier (Sierra Madre, Calif.) totaled a match-high 9 kills and 10 digs for Wellesley (3-3 overall). First year Kaija Kunze-Hoeg (Eagan, Minn.) also finished with 10 digs and sophomore Jennifer Yu (Shanghai, China) added six kills for Wellesley.

After taking the opening set, the Raiders built a 20-9 lead en route to winning the second game. With the Raiders leading 19-13 in the third game, Wellesley rallied back to take a 22-21 lead. However, four straight Rivier points, the final two on aces from Racevicius, sealed the win for the home team.

Wellesley 3, Castleton 0

Wellesley bounced back with a 3-0 (25-15, 25-20, 26-24) sweep of Castleton in the final match of the day. Salembier totaled 12 kills and senior TylerBell Smith (Frisco, Texas) added seven on just 11 attempts (.727) to lead the Blue to the win.

Kunze-Hoeg led all players with a career-high 28 digs while adding a pair of kills and an ace. First year Kennedy Mayo (Long Branch, N.J.) had seven kills and Yu chipped in with six more kills as sophomore setter Mikayla Tansil (Warren, Mich.) collected 37 assists in the match.

Sophomore Hailey Martinovich (Rochester, N.Y.) had nine kills and seven digs to lead Castleton (2-4 overall). Mackenzie Wade (Red Hook, N.Y.) finished with a team-high 16 digs and Caitlin Mahoney (Fort Edward, N.Y.) added 10 digs for the Spartans.

The Blue cruised to a 25-15 win in the opening game. Wellesley raced to a 22-15 lead in the second game before a Castleton charge closed the edge to 25-18. The Spartans would get as close as 23-20 before the Blue scored the final two points. In game three, Castleton had a 24-23 lead, but three straight kills from Mia Maxwell (Arlington, Mass.), Kunze-Hoeg and Salembier following a Wellesley timeout ended the match.

Wellesley will open the New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) season on Tuesday evening when the Blue host Babson at 7:00 PM.