Sept. 12, 2005
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - MIT traveled to Ithaca, N.Y. last weekend to compete in the Bomber Invitational hosted by Ithaca College. On Friday, the Engineers (5-3) defeated Stevens Institute of Technology (30-25, 30-28, 30-25) and then fell to Rochester Institute of Technology (30-25, 30-27, 24-30, 23-30, 15-12). The next day, Tech fell to nationally-ranked No. 3 New York University (28-30, 30-27, 30-18, 26-30, 15-13) and Wellesley College (24-30, 24-30, 30-27, 30-27, 15-12). For the second week in a row, Caroline Jordan collected All-Tournament Team honors.
In MIT's opening match against Stevens, Jordan and Frances Rogoz each contributed 11 kills. Carrie Buchanan and Arlis Reynolds each picked up 16 digs as Lindsay Hunting added 12 of her own along with four aces. In two games, Austin Zimmerman dished out 15 assists before she was relieved by Amanda Morris in the third game, who registered 14 assists as the Engineers overcame a 17-6 deficit to close out the match with a 30-25 margin.
In the second match of the "Tech Pool", MIT dropped two close sets to RIT, with Briana Stephenson tallying six of her 13 kills and Reynolds picking up 13 of her match-high 26 digs. In the third game, Reynolds switched from libero to outside hitter and scored six times to put the Engineers back in the match. MIT claimed the fourth game due to Stephenson's three kills and Rogoz's three aces. MIT fell short in the deciding frame, dropping the game, 15-12, after opening up an 8-3 lead. Rogoz powered Tech's offense in the final game as she registered three kills while Jordan and Stephenson added a pair of blocks. Zimmerman posted a triple-double, finishing with 49 assists, 10 digs, and 10 blocks (two solo and eight assisted). Rogoz totaled a team-high 16 kills and four aces while Jordan notched 11 kills for the second match in a row. Buchanan collected 18 digs as Hunting tallied 15 digs and four aces.
After falling in straight sets to NYU twice last season, MIT displayed improvement against the Violets by opening up a 7-2 lead in the first game. NYU recovered to knot the set at 22-22, but behind four kills apiece from Jordan and Rogoz, MIT claimed a 30-28 win. Buchanan picked up five of her 23 digs in the second game as the Engineers fell, 30-26. Momentum had shifted to the Violets, who cruised to a 30-18 win in the third game. Tech's defense recovered to secure the fourth set, 30-27, due to eight of Reynolds' 28 digs. MIT, looking to seal its first win against a nationally-ranked opponent since defeating then-No. 18 Williams College last season, traded points in a series of gritty rallies, with NYU earning the court switch at 8-7. Neither team built so much as a two-point lead until the Violets earned a side-out to go up 14-13 and claimed the final point. Stephenson and Jordan led Tech with 12 kills each while Hunting totaled 14 digs and four aces from the backcourt. Jordan paced the blocking corps with six assisted blocks and Stephenson led the way with a pair of solo blocks. Zimmerman tallied 37 assists in the loss.
Morris took over setting duties in the third-place match of the Bomber Invitational against conference rival Wellesley. The Engineers cruised to 30-24 margins in the first two games as result of 10 of Jordan's match-high 20 kills. However, a series of Wellesley lineup shuffles stabilized its ball control while MIT's serve receive and defense faltered, leading to defeats of 30-27 in games three and four. The Engineers' fell behind, 8-2, in its third-straight fifth game and eventually lost, 15-12. Stephenson was the most efficient attacker for MIT, scoring eight times without an error on 19 swings (.421). Reynolds notched 21 digs as Morris totaled 14 digs and 49 assists. Buchanan earned four aces and Hunting posted three of her own while both players collected 13 digs.