No. 20 MIT Defeats Springfield, 3-1, in NEWMAC Volleyball Opener

Abby Bertics
Courtesy of Maude Gull

THE BASICS:

- Score: No. 20 MIT 3, Springfield College 1 (25-16, 25-19, 23-25, 25-14)

- Records: No. 20 MIT (9-0, 1-0 NEWMAC); Springfield (7-2, 0-1 NEWMAC)

- Location: Cambridge, Mass. (Rockwell Cage)

- The Lead: In the NEWMAC women's volleyball opener for both squads, nationally-ranked No. 20 MIT defeated Springfield College, 25-16, 25-19, 23-25, 25-14, on Tuesday night. Junior Abby Bertics (La Jolla, Calif.) tallied a match-high 25 kills to go along with three blocks for the Engineers.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- Tied at six in the opening frame, a kill by senior Alli Davanzo (Saint Johns, Fla.) sparked a 12-5 run. Springfield narrowed the gap to 21-15 after Daniela Deltore's ace, but the Engineers responded with a 4-1 spurt as senior Clare Farley's (La Jolla, Calif.) ace clinched the set.

- In the second stanza, MIT turned a 7-7 tie into a 16-11 lead after senior Lisette Tellez's (Miami, Fla.) kill. The Pride chipped away at the deficit, using a kill by Jen Donnelly and an ace from Deltore to come within two (18-16). This was as close as it would get as back-to-back Bertics kills kicked off a set-ending 7-3 burst.

- Following seven ties and two lead changes, strong serving by Kayley Cimino that featured two aces helped Springfield build a 19-13 advantage in the third set. The Engineers battled back, closing the gap to 21-20 after a kill by Bertics. Coming out of its own timeout, the Pride capitalized on Kayleigh Helgesen's kill and an MIT hitting error to create a small cushion. The Engineers matched the effort as kills by Bertics and Farley moved the score to 23-22. Katie vonKampen's kill gave the visitors set point, however, a ball-handling error kept MIT alive. The comeback attempt would be thwarted courtesy of another kill from vonKampen.

- Deadlocked at eight in the final frame, the hosts rattled off five straight points to establish a lead they would not relinquish. Springfield converted a serving error and a block by Helgesen and Bridget Walsh to stay within striking distance and prompt a timeout by the Engineers. Once action resumed, MIT put together a 12-4 match-ending run, capped by a Davanzo kill.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Davanzo finished with 11 kills, a .526 hitting effort, and three blocks. Freshman Andie Maloney (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) totaled 44 assists, seven digs, and five blocks as junior Carly Silvernale (Bellevue, Wash.) collected 15 digs. Tellez posted 13 digs and eight kills while sophomore Madison Lee (Hillsborough, Calif.) bolstered the back row with nine digs.

- Donnelly powered Springfield with 16 digs and 13 kills as Hayley Kmetz contributed nine kills. Cimino produced 18 assists, nine digs, and two aces while Detore recorded 16 assists and two aces. Anagabrielle Sanchez notched 14 digs followed by 12 from Hannah Lozano. Helgesen and Walsh both registered three blocks.

UP NEXT:

- MIT returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 16 when it hosts a tri-match featuring NEWMAC foe Smith College (12:00 p.m.) and Simmons College (4:00 p.m.). Springfield, meanwhile, continues its road trip with a visit to Union College on Thursday, Sept. 14 at 7:00 p.m.

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