Oct. 8, 2008
By Wheaton College Sports Information
NORTON, Mass. – The MIT women’s volleyball team held off a formidable Wheaton College squad, 25-22, 21-25, 26-24, 22-25, 15-8, in a New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) match on Tuesday night. The Engineers improved to 13-11 overall and 4-1 in league play while the Lyons slipped to 5-16 overall and 0-5 in the NEWMAC.
During the opening set, the teams traded early points, but the Engineers used a 4-1 run to break out of a 7-7 tie before Miranda Howitt's kill brought the hosts within two (14-12). MIT scored nine of the next 12 points to forge ahead, 23-15, on Jenny Li's ace, but Wheaton crept back thanks to a 7-1 run that made it 24-22 before an error sealed the win for MIT.
Set two was also a close affair, as the Lyons narrowly led by a 13-12 count before eventually going up, 18-13 on Becca Rose's ace. Wheaton maintained a minimum of a three-point cushion for the remainder of the frame. Alex May landed a kill to close the gap to 24-21, but Lauren Kraus blocked an attack at set point to knot the match.
The Engineers took a 6-1 advantage in the third set behind a pair of aces from Lindsay Hunting and consecutive kills by May, but Wheaton tallied a 6-0 run to capture the lead thanks to the service of Liana Merrill. Following the Lyons' 7-6 lead, the teams played through five more ties before Wheaton twice went up by as many as four points, last at 22-18 on Lauren McGrath's kill. The visitors rallied with a 6-1 run to go up, 24-23 on a May kill, and the Lyons forced a short-lived tie at 24 before MIT notched back-to-back kills, with another May kill clinching the set.
When MIT edged ahead, 11-8 in the fourth set, it was the first time either team led by more than two points, but Wheaton scored four straight thanks to consecutive Kraus blocks to put the hosts on top, 12-11. Four ties ensued, as neither squad led by more than three points again until the Lyons broke out of a 20-all set with four straight points while Merrill served, as Kraus recorded a key kill. Consecutive May kills made it 24-22, but Howitt's ensuing kill forced a fifth set.
Kraus and Kaitlyn Stokes blocked an MIT attack to give Wheaton the first point in the final frame, and a Rose ace had the home team on top, 5-3 before the Engineers rallied for 12 of the final 15 points in the match. After MIT had surged ahead, Stokes’ kills brought the Lyons to within 9-7 and 11-8 before a Hunting ace ended the match.
Kraus finished the match with 17 kills, seven blocks and three aces, Howitt tallied 14 kills, 14 digs and three aces, while Merrill notched 10 kills. Rose turned in 43 assists and three aces, while Stokes recorded four blocks. Emily Davisson and Kristen Hunt contributed 25 and 11 digs, respectively.