CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – With a 25-14, 25-13,
25-19 victory over host MIT, Wellesley College captured its second
New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference
(NEWMAC) Women’s Volleyball crown in three years. The No.
2-seeded Blue improved to 23-9 on the year and earned a spot in the
upcoming NCAA Division III Championship Tournament. The Engineers
(27-8) will await the announcement of an at-large bid, which will
be released on Monday, Nov. 9.
Alex May paced MIT with 12 kills to go along with five digs. Cecily Joujon-Roche notched three kills and three blocks as Barden Cleeland chipped in three kills. Katie Spielbauer registered seven digs while Cathy Melnikow and Jenny Li each collected five of their own. Alyssa Rothman finished with 18 assists and one ace.
Alice Kate Cummings recorded her second straight double-double of the weekend, compiling 13 kills and 11 digs for Wellesley. Elizabeth Campbell added eight kills and three blocks while Taylor King posted a match-high four blocks. Naomi Iwata led the way with 14 digs as Victoria Peng and Isabel Custodio dished out 17 and 16 assists, respectively.
The early moments of the match were closely played as a tip by Joujon-Roche off a Wellesley block brought the Engineers within one (6-5). The Blue picked up six out of the next seven points and eventually held a 17-10 advantage. A kill by Li to go along with a trio of miscues narrowed the Engineers’ deficit to three (17-14). This was as close as it would get as Wellesley posted eight unanswered points to end the set.
In the second stanza, the Engineers inched out to an 8-7 edge. The brief lead was quickly erased as the Blue mounted an 18-5 run to win the game. The pivotal spree featured a string of 11 consecutive points that put Wellesley ahead for good.
The Blue established a 4-2 lead in the third set, but MIT captured six out of the next eight points to take the advantage. Five ties followed until a hitting error put Wellesley in front, 13-12. The Engineers stayed within one point on three occasions before a 4-1 spurt gave the Blue a 20-16 margin. The scoring went back-and-forth to wrap up the match.