Oct. 10, 2006
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The U.S. Coast Guard Academy knocked MIT from the ranks of the unbeaten with a 28-30, 32-30, 30-26, 27-30, 15-12 victory in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's volleyball match on Tuesday. Formerly the sole possessor of first place in the conference standings, the Engineers (20-3, 5-1 NEWMAC) now share the top spot with the Bears (12-2, 5-1 NEWMAC) and Wellesley College.
In the opening game, MIT built a 7-2 advantage. Coast Guard chipped away at the deficit and then knotted the contest at eight. The game remained tight until the Engineers established a four-point lead (15-11). The slim margin held until the Bears came within one (17-16). Tech responded with a six-point run, which resulted in its largest cushion of the frame. Coast Guard pushed back by taking nine of the next 12 points to even the game at 25. Despite facing game point, the Bears nearly tied the game but their attack attempt went into the net.
Coast Guard registered three of the first four points of the second stanza, but the Engineers went ahead, 4-3. Following an MIT service error, Tech bounced back by establishing a 10-6 lead. MIT maintained its small advantage until a three-point run put the Bears ahead, 15-14. The rest of the game was a back-and-forth affair as it featured 10 ties and seven lead changes.
The Engineers held an 8-6 edge in the third game, but strong serving by Anne Staley helped Coast Guard take the lead for good with a 6-0 run. Tech was able to narrow the margin to two (15-13), but the Bears went on to build a six-point margin, their largest of the night. The deficit was too much for MIT to overcome as Coast Guard took a 2-1 advantage in the match.
The Bears carried the momentum into the fourth frame as they recorded the first three points. The Engineers answered with a three-point run of their own. Following a pair of service errors and alternating points, Coast Guard developed a 10-5 lead. MIT remained in striking distance as the game progressed, finding itself trailing 14-12. The Bears captured the next point, but the Engineers scored the next six. Solid serving by Coast Guard's Nicole Gurr put her squad in a 19-19 tie. Tech won 10 of the next 13 points to go up, 29-22. The Bears would not go down without a fight as they cut their deficit to two. However, the late rally ended when a kill by MIT's Katie Rowe forced the decisive fifth game.
In the final frame, the Engineers built a 5-1 advantage which led to a timeout by Coast Guard. Following the break, both squads traded points until the Bears went ahead, 7-6. A pair of kills by Briana Stephenson gave MIT the lead at the changeover. Tech picked up the next point, but Coast Guard answered with one of its own. The Engineers re-established their two-point cushion on a huge block by Alexandra Huston-Carico. The Bears were not deterred as they won the next five points to regain the lead at 13-10. Tech captured the next point after an MIT timeout, however each side traded points to close the match.
Frances Rogoz paced MIT with 17 kills and three aces while Alex May totaled 14 kills and five blocks. Stephenson contributed 13 kills as Carrie Buchanan collected 25 digs. Amanda Morris tallied 42 assists and three aces.
Gurr notched 27 kills, 15 digs, and five aces while Corinne McCormack amassed 25 kills, 20 digs, and three aces. Kim Jung accounted for the Bears' third double-double of the evening with 26 digs and 15 kills. Christine Rostowfske distributed 62 assists in the win.
Next up for MIT will be its Quad Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 14 while Coast Guard will travel to Western Connecticut State University on Thursday, Oct. 12 for a 7:00 p.m. start.