CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – MIT continued its early season success at its home opener on Saturday as the Engineers picked up a pair of wins to remained undefeated and improve to 11-0. In the first match of the day, MIT swept NEWMAC opponent Clark University before downing Simmons College in the first ever meeting between the two programs in four sets.
MIT def. Clark University, 3-0 (25-20, 25-19, 25-13)
Junior Trinity Leonard (Mill Valley, Calif.) led MIT (11-0, 2-0 NEWMAC) with a match-high 13 kills to go along with a .550 hitting percentage and four digs. Sophomore Kristine Bunker (Falmouth, Mass.) registered seven kills, a .385 hitting performance, and three blocks while senior Kelly Schulte (Riverside, Calif.) tallied nine kills, a .348 hitting percentage, two aces, and two blocks. Sophomore Rachel Hunt (Arlington Heights, Ill.) contributed five kills as senior Cecily Joujon-Roche (Laguna Hills, Calif.) posted four digs and two blocks. Junior Katie Spielbauer (Lakeview, Mich.) totaled 14 digs and five aces while freshman Nicole Gagnier (Atlanta, Ga.) compiled 34 assists, five digs, two aces, and two blocks.
ToniMarie Illuzzi led Clark (4-4, 1-1 MEWMAC) with seven kills in the match while Kortney Kelley paced the Cougars with 17 digs.
Simmons College def. Clark University, 3-2 (25-23, 15-25, 25-21, 23-25, 15-6)
In the back-and-forth battle, Meaghan Flynn amassed 23 kills to help Simmons (8-2) put away Clark in five sets. Setter Rachel Dufault also had a strong outing for the Sharks, handing out 39 assists and serving up five aces.
Kelly again led the way defensively for Clark, recording 36 digs in the match. Amira Tranchell had a solid all-around outing for the Cougars, notching 13 kills while recording seven blocks, four solo. Setter Rachel Spera dished out 30 assists.
MIT def. Simmons College, 3-1 (28-26, 22-25, 25-13, 25-15)
Schulte powered MIT with 14 kills, a .367 hitting percentage, and two blocks while Joujon-Roche added 11 kills, a .450 hitting performance, four blocks, and three aces. Bunker chipped in six kills and three blocks as Leonard finished with seven kills and five digs. Senior Natasha Jensen (Columbia, Md.) paced the defense with nine digs while Spielbauer amassed eight aces and eight digs. Sophomore Jess Fessler (Shortsville, N.Y.) totaled five digs and four aces as Joujon-Roche bolstered the serving corps with three aces. Gagnier racked up 43 assists, eight digs, four kills, and three blocks.
As she did in the first match of the day for the Sharks, Flynn led Simmons with 18 kills. Dufault continued her solid afternoon of play with 25 assists and a pair of aces.
All three teams will return to action on Tuesday, September 20. MIT and Clark will both return to NEWMAC play, with the Engineers hosting Wellesley College and Clark traveling to Springfield College. Simmons will also return to action when it hosts Bridgewater State University. All three matches are scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m.