CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In the inaugural
meeting between both programs, the MIT women’s volleyball
team emerged with a 22-25, 25-19, 25-11, 25-17 victory over Rivier
College on Thursday night. The Engineers, winners of seven straight
matches, saw their record improve to 18-4 on the year while the
Raiders’ ledger dipped to 10-10 overall.
The early stages of the first set were closely played as a kill by Jenny Li brought MIT within two (6-4). Rivier then mounted a 15-6 run to take control of the frame. The Engineers responded by scoring 10 of the next 11 points to narrow the gap to two (22-20). Each side traded points as the Raiders capitalized on miscues by the Cardinal and Gray to close the frame.
MIT raced out to a 7-3 lead in the second stanza, but River used two errors and a kill by Danielle Jacques to pull within one. The Engineers countered with a 7-1 spurt, which featured four strikes by Li and increased their margin to 14-7. The Raiders stayed within striking distance, cutting their deficit to five on four occasions the last at set point. An ace from Emileigh Cenedella kept the visitors alive, but a blast by Li caromed off Rivier’s block and sailed past the endline to wrap up the game.
A service error by the Engineers knotted the third frame at three. This was as close as it would get as the hosts used a 14-3 run to establish a comfortable cushion. Both sides exchanged points until MIT scored five of the last six to seal the set.
Rivier created a 6-3 edge before five ties and one lead change resulted in a deadlock at 13. The Engineers inched ahead on a hitting error and an ace by Alyssa Rothman. A serving miscue brought the Raiders within one (15-14), but a kill from Li sparked a 10-3 run that closed the match.
Li powered MIT with 17 kills, 11 digs, and two blocks while Alex May tallied 13 digs, 10 kills, two blocks, and two aces. Barden Cleeland registered seven kills, six blocks, and four aces as Kelly Schulte contributed nine kills and three blocks. Rothman totaled 38 assists, three blocks, and two digs while Katie Spielbauer collected 13 digs.
Kenna Finlayson posted 14 kills and two aces for Rivier as Danielle Stoodley amassed 22 digs. Lauren Saccoccio dished out 20 assists while Caitlin Callahan notched 14 assists and 10 digs.
Next up for MIT will be a road match on Tuesday, Oct. 13 at NEWMAC foe WPI. Rivier will host GNAC rivals Norwich University and St. Joseph’s College (Conn.) in a tri-match on Saturday, Oct. 10.