MIT Captures Gordon Invitational Crown

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Facing the same opponents for the second year in a row, the outcome was the same as the MIT women’s volleyball team opened the 2009 campaign by winning the Gordon College Invitational for the eighth straight season. The Engineers swept Endicott College (25-17, 25-22, 25-14) and Keene State College (25-16, 25-23, 25-12) before topping the host Fighting Scots (25-10, 25-20, 24-26, 25-17) on Saturday. Katrina Ellison was named the Tournament MVP while rookie Katie Spielbauer was tabbed for All-Tournament Team honors.

Alex May posted 11 kills and six digs as Ellison and Cecily Joujon-Roche both registered eight kills and four digs against Endicott. Jenny Li notched a team-high five blocks while Barden Cleeland totaled four blocks and three aces. Cathy Melnikow paced the defense with 11 digs to go along with three aces as Anna Dikina contributed six digs. Alyssa Rothman tallied 34 assists and four digs while Spielbauer chipped in six digs.

Ellison recorded a solid hitting performance versus Keene State, compiling 10 kills on 15-errorless attempts for a .667 hitting percentage. May totaled 12 kills, four digs, and two blocks as Li and Cleeland each posted six kills and three blocks. Spielbauer collected 12 digs while Melnikow amassed six digs and five aces. Rothman notched 30 assists, four digs, and two aces as Joujon-Roche contributed two blocks. Dikina bolstered the Engineers’ serving performance with a trio of aces.

In her intercollegiate debut, Trinity Leonard led MIT’s attack with 15 kills to go along with eight digs against Gordon. Kelsey Cappelle recorded 13 kills and two blocks as Kelly Schulte tallied eight kills and two aces. Spielbauer compiled 20 digs while Kate Kelly, Melnikow, and Li each earned a pair of aces. Joujon-Roche contributed seven digs and six kills as Dikina tacked on nine digs. Rothman posted 41 assists and seven digs while Cleeland registered two blocks in two games.