Oct. 14, 2008
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Following a week-long hiatus, the MIT women's volleyball team returned to action with a 25-15, 25-15, 25-5 victory over WPI in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) match on Tuesday night. A balanced attack helped raise MIT's record to 14-11 on the year and 5-1 in league play while WPI fell to 10-11 on the season and 1-5 in the NEWMAC.
MIT raced out to an 11-1 lead in the opening frame, but WPI responded with five unanswered points including a pair of kills from Becca Holmberg. Each side traded points, maintaining the five-point margin until MIT went on a 5-1 run to extend its advantage to 19-10. WPI capitalized on several miscues by the hosts to pull within six (20-14), however, that was as close as it would get as MIT captured five out of the last six points with a service ace by Alex May to seal the set.
Like the first set, MIT built an early 9-3 advantage in the second stanza. WPI slowly chipped away at the deficit and narrowed the gap to two (12-10) courtesy of a Christina Grant block. Back-to-back hits from Emily Obert and Barden Cleeland gave MIT some breathing room, but WPI instantly cut its deficit in half (14-12). MIT countered with an 11-3 run to close out the frame, which featured a key four-point serving run by Cleeland that resulted in set point.
Cecily Joujon-Roche's blocking efforts with Jenny Li and Katrina Ellison on the first two points of the final set helped power MIT to a 10-2 lead. Strikes by Grant and Holmberg narrowed the margin to 10-4, but a service error returned the ball to MIT. The host Engineers tallied five straight points on Li's serve before WPI earned a sideout that made the score, 16-5. MIT captured the next point as Lindsay Hunting served the final eight points for her squad.
Joujon-Roche recorded a match-high six blocks to go along with four kills. Cleeland collected seven kills on 13-errorless attempts for a .538 hitting percentage. May tallied six kills, five digs, and two aces as Ellison added six kills and a .556 hitting performance. Kelly Schulte connected on all four of her hitting attempts while Li, Obert, and Allison Hamilos each posted three kills. Hunting notched eight digs and five aces as Li picked up three aces. Cathy Melnikow totaled 17 assists and 11 digs while Evelyn Cordner dished out five assists.
Holmberg paced WPI's attack with seven kills as Nikki Croteau dished out nine assists. Joan Porambo finished the night with a team-high six digs.
Both teams will return to non-conference play on Saturday, Oct. 18. MIT host its Quad Tournament featuring Western New England College, Saint Mary's College (Ind.), and Millikin University. WPI will travel to the University of New England to face the host Nor'easters and NEWMAC foe Babson College.