CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In the New England
Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) opener
for both squads, the MIT women’s volleyball team posted a
25-9, 25-16, 25-14 decision over visiting Clark University on
Tuesday night. With the win, the Engineers improve to 7-2 on the
year and 1-0 in conference play while the Cougars dipped to 1-3
overall and 0-1 in the NEWMAC.
MIT opened the contest with four quick points, which prompted a timeout by Clark. Following the break, the Cougars notched two out of the next three points to trim their deficit to three (5-2). The Cardinal and Gray responded with a 19-3 run which set up match point. Clark continued to attack, converting a pair of MIT miscues, an ace from Kortney Kelley, and a strike by Kristin McGinty. After their own timeout, the Engineers closed the set on a blast by Cecily Joujon-Roche.
Each side traded points to start the second stanza before MIT inched out to a 7-3 lead. Clark registered three straight points, capped by an ace from Emily Visone, to narrow its gap to one. Back-to-back kills from Kelsey Cappelle in addition to a block with Kelly Schulte gave the Engineers a 10-6 cushion. The Cougars countered with a 6-2 spurt which evened the contest at 12. Solid serving by Schulte resulted in eight unanswered points and a comfortable 20-12 margin for MIT. Clark picked up the next two points, but the Engineers maintained control of the set as Alyssa Rothman registered a block for the final point.
MIT raced out to a 10-1 lead in the final frame, however the Cougars mounted a 9-4 run that narrowed their margin to four (14-10). The Engineers answered with an 8-1 spurt that was sparked by a block from Joujon-Roche and Cappelle. A tip and an ace from Kelley kept Clark alive until the hosts posted three out of the last four points to wrap up the match.
Schulte tallied 11 kills, five digs, four aces, and three blocks for the Cardinal and Gray. Barden Cleeland and Alex May each posted five kills as Katie Spielbauer collected a team-high seven digs. Rothman totaled 27 assists, two aces, and two blocks while Trinity Leonard recorded three kills and three digs. Cappelle finished with three kills and two blocks as Joujon-Roche notched three aces and two blocks. Anna Dikina registered five digs and three aces while Cathy Melnikow chipped in three digs. Kate Kelly rounded out MIT’s balanced attack with three kills.
McGinty paced the Cougars’ attack with five kills as Emily Visone compiled a match-high 10 digs. Emily Sullivan distributed seven assists in the loss.
MIT continues conference play on Saturday, Sept. 19 when it travels to Smith College. Clark continues its road trip on Thursday, Sept. 17 when it visits Mount Ida College.