September 23, 2006

MIT Defeats Tufts For MIT Volleyball Invitational Crown

Sept. 23, 2006

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - For the first time in tournament history, MIT won back-to-back MIT Women's Volleyball Invitational titles on Saturday. Despite a four-point rally by Tufts University at championship point, the Engineers hung on for a 30-13, 19-30, 30-20, 30-27 win. Tech collected its fourth championship trophy as Amanda Morris was named the Tournament MVP and Alex May was selected to the All-Tournament Team.

Friday's pool play was a re-match of last year's opening rounds of the NCAA Championship Tournament with MIT facing Bridgewater State College and Colby College. Like its previous meeting, MIT swept Bridgewater State, 30-14, 30-20, 30-19. Briana Stephenson recorded an incredible hitting performance as she connected on nine of her 11 attempts for a .818 hitting percentage. Carrie Buchanan collected 12 digs and five aces while Amanda Morris totaled six aces and 28 assists.

The Engineers (15-1) avenged their loss to Colby with a 30-11, 30-25, 30-28 decision to take the top spot in their pool. Morris notched her first double-double of the weekend by tallying a team-high 18 digs to go along with 32 assists. Lindsay Hunting totaled 11 digs and three aces while Buchanan posted 13 digs. Barden Cleeland led Tech with 12 kills and six assisted blocks as Frances Rogoz contributed 10 kills and five assisted blocks.

In MIT's 30-21, 30-20, 30-28 semifinal win over Williams College, Cleeland broke the Institute record for kills in a three-game match with 22. She also added four total blocks and two aces while Alex May contributed a career-high 19 kills. Buchanan paced the Engineers' defense with 22 digs while Rose Zhong set a new career standard with 16 digs. Hunting also reached double-figures in digs as she finished with 10 while Alexandra Huston-Carico posted four assisted blocks.

Tech saw three players record double-digits in kills while five met the same standard in digs in its title match with Tufts. Cleeland led the offense with 13 kills, with Rogoz and Stephenson tallying 12 and 10, respectively. On the defensive end, Hunting totaled 15 digs, followed by Buchanan (14), Morris (12), Zhong (12), and May (11). Cleeland added two solo and six assisted blocks while Buchanan totaled four aces. Morris also distributed 35 assists in the win.