WESTON, Mass. – The MIT women's volleyball team opened its season by winning all four matches en route to a first place finish at the Regis College Pride Invitational held this past weekend. Junior Katie Spielbauer (Lakeview, Mich.) was named the Tournament MVP while senior Kelly Schulte (Riverside, Calif.) earned All-Tournament team honors.
The Cardinal and Gray swept Suffolk University, 25-5, 25-13, 25-22, in the first match on Friday afternoon. Junior Trinity Leonard (Mill Valley, Calif.) led MIT's balanced attack with five kills while freshmen Kayla Harris (Baton Rouge, La.) and Sarah Oberhelman (New Orleans, La.) both had four kills. Senior Cecily Joujon-Roche (Laguna Hills, Calif.) connected on four of her seven hitting attempts to go along with two blocks. Sophomore Tatiana Berger (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) posted three kills as fellow classmate Kristine Bunker (Falmouth, Mass.) chipped in two kills and two blocks. Schulte tallied four aces, two kills and a block while Spielbauer notched eight digs and two aces. Sophomore Sharon Hao (San Jose, Calif.) led the setting corps with 16 assists, followed by seven from freshman Jenny Astrachan (Austin, Texas) and three from freshman Nicole Gagnier (Atlanta, Ga.). Senior Natasha Jensen (Columbia, Md.) and sophomore Jess Fessler (Shortsville, N.Y.) rounded out the defense with six and four digs.
Against NEWMAC foe WPI, MIT emerged with a 25-16, 25-17, 24-26, 25-19 victory. Leonard racked up eight kills, six digs, and three blocks as Bunker totaled seven kills, a .545 hitting percentage, and five blocks. Berger also had seven kills while Joujon-Roche posted five kills and four blocks. Schulte contributed five kills and three blocks as Hao tallied 19 assists, seven digs, three aces, and two blocks. Junior Alyssa Rothman (Plainview, N.Y.) dished out eight assists while Spielbauer amassed 19 digs and four aces. Jensen collected seven digs as Fessler finished with five.
The Engineers overpowered Regis, 25-13, 25-12, 25-18, to kick off action on Saturday. Sophomore Rachel Hunt (Arlington Heights, Ill.) led the front row with five kills and a .714 hitting percentage. Berger, Oberhelman, and Leonard each chipped in four kills. Berger added a trio of aces and digs while Oberhelman had two aces and two digs. Joujon-Roche notched three kills, three blocks, and two aces as Bunker tacked on three blocks and three aces. Schulte had three aces and two blocks while Jensen totaled four digs and two aces. All four setters saw playing time as Hao paced the group with 10 assists followed by Astrachan (eight), Gagnier (five), and Rothman (three). Freshman Jody Fu (San Francisco, Calif.), Hao, and Fessler each contributed three digs while Rothman earned two aces.
In the finale, MIT defeated Worcester State University, 25-9, 25-16, 25-17. Leonard powered the attack with nine kills and recorded five digs as freshman Morgan Stewart (Powell, Ohio) totaled five kills, a .714 hitting percentage, and two blocks. Hunt registered five kills and a block while Bunker tallied four kills, two aces, and one block. Schulte had three kills and three aces as Berger bolstered the offense with three kills and two aces. Hao racked up 17 assists, three kills, and a block while Spielbauer collected nine digs. Jensen closed out the weekend with four digs and three aces.
Next up for the Engineers will be the Vassar College Tournament on September 9-10.