CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) opener for both squads, the MIT women's volleyball team swept Mount Holyoke College, 25-8, 25-17, 25-8, on Tuesday night. The Engineers raised their ledger to 5-4 on the year while the Lyons' record dipped to 3-1 overall.
The early stages of the opening set were closely played as a hit by Martina Kneifel brought Mount Holyoke within two (6-4). MIT responded with a 14-2 run which broke open the game and helped it capture the first frame.
In the second stanza, the Lyons jumped out to a 5-1 lead. The Engineers battled back and gradually established a 16-10 advantage, which prompted a timeout by Mount Holyoke. Following the break, the visitors used a 5-2 spurt that narrowed the gap to 18-15. MIT countered by scoring seven of the final nine points as a block by Kelsey Cappelle and Cecily Joujon-Roche sealed the set.
The Engineers quickly established a 4-1 edge in the final frame, but a strike by Morgan Cooley kept Mount Holyoke within striking distance. This was as close as it would get for the Lyons as MIT picked up eight of the next nine points to gain some breathing room and eventually clinch the victory.
Trinity Leonard led the Engineers with 11 kills, six digs, and four aces while Kristine Bunker tallied five kills, four blocks, and four aces. Kelly Schulte contributed six kills as Joujon-Roche finished with three blocks. Anna Dikina posted six digs, followed by five from Katie Spielbauer. Sharon Hao totaled 20 assists and four digs as Alyssa Rothman dished out nine assists. Tatiana Berger rounded out MIT's serving corps with two aces.
Cooley paced Mount Holyoke with five kills while Kateryna Kuc distributed 14 assists. Kneifel anchored the defense with 12 digs.
Both squads will hit the road on Saturday, Sept. 18. MIT will travel to NEWMAC foe Clark University where it will also face non-conference rival Rivier College in a tri-match. Mount Holyoke will continue conference play at Wheaton College.