October 26, 2009

MIT Places Fourth at Hall of Fame Tournament

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Facing several of the top teams in New England, the MIT women’s volleyball team posted a fourth-place finish and 1-2 mark at the Hall of Fame Tournament this past weekend. The Engineers opened up play with a 21-25, 24-26, 25-17, 25-21, 15-9 come-from-behind victory over Brandeis University. On Saturday, Tech fell to regionally-ranked No. 1 and top seed Tufts University (25-17, 25-15, 25-23) before losing to No. 8 ranked Amherst College in a back-and-forth five-set battle (20-25, 25-18, 19-25, 25-16, 15-9).

Alex May represented the Cardinal and Gray (23-7) on the All-Tournament Team and also surpassed the 1,000 dig mark. By reaching this milestone, she became the third player in the program’s history to amass 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs. Barden Cleeland also cemented her place in the MIT record book as she broke the Institute standard for career total blocks, eclipsing the tally of 380 set by Betsy Sailhamer ’99.

Against Brandeis, May amassed 26 kills, a .417 hitting percentage, 11 digs, and three blocks. Jenny Li racked up 13 kills and a. 379 hitting performance as Cleeland registered nine kills and four blocks. Alyssa Rothman compiled 49 assists, 12 digs, and four aces while Cathy Melnikow posted 14 digs and five aces. Katie Spielbauer anchored the defense with 19 digs as Cecily Joujon-Roche chipped in seen kills and five blocks. Kelly Schulte rounded out the blocking corps with four stops.

In Saturday’s pairing with Tufts, Schulte paced MIT with nine kills, a .471 hitting percentage, six blocks, and four aces. Spielbauer collected 18 digs as May notched eight kills and eight digs. Joujon-Roche tallied five blocks and three aces while Anna Dikina contributed seven digs. Rothman dished out 22 assists as Cleeland recorded four kills and four blocks.

May powered the Engineers with 19 kills and 16 digs to go along with three blocks versus Amherst. Joujon-Roche dominated the net with nine blocks as Cleeland tacked on 11 kills and five blocks. Schulte added seven kills and five blocks while Rothman finished with 29 assists, 15 digs, and two aces. Schulte registered seven kills and five blocks as Li totaled seven kills and three blocks. Dikina bolstered Tech’s defense with 12 digs.