Nov. 3, 2007
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - With an 18-30, 30-28, 30-28, 30-24 victory over top-seed MIT, No. 2 Wellesley College earned its sixth New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Women's Volleyball Championship title and an automatic berth to the upcoming NCAA Division III Championship Tournament.
The Engineers (34-2) opened the match with seven unanswered points. Following its own timeout, the Blue (27-6) got on the scoreboard by converting an MIT hitting miscue. The Cardinal and Gray maintained its momentum, quickly extending its lead to double-digits and cruising to the win.
In the second stanza, the Blue generated a four-point spurt that resulted in a 7-4 advantage. Each side traded points until the Engineers scored three in a row to even the game at 11. Wellesley broke up the run on the ensuing serve, but MIT tallied four of the next five points to establish at 16-13 edge. A pair of hitting errors and an ace by Jessica Duff gave the game its fourth tie. Both squads posted two points apiece before the Engineers tallied four straight for their largest lead (24-19). The Blue countered with an 11-4 run to even the match at one game each.
A trio of three-point spurts helped power MIT to a 10-5 advantage in the third game. Trailing 14-9, strong serving by Lauren Rasmussen put Wellesley ahead, 16-14. The game became a back-and-forth affair, featuring 10 ties and nine lead changes. A tip by Jenny Li gave the Engineers a 28-27 edge, but Tracy Waldman's strike sparked the Blue to victory.
In the final frame, Wellesley established a 7-3 lead, which was countered by a 7-2 run from MIT. The Blue then scored 10 out of the next 14 points to reclaim the advantage (19-15). The Engineers stayed within striking distance, closing the gap to one (20-19). A 4-1 rally gave Wellesley enough breathing room to hold on for the win.
With 21 digs, Carrie Buchanan became MIT's all-time leader in career digs, surpassing the previous mark of 1,949 set by Arlis Reynolds `05. Amanda Morris tallied 42 assists, 16 digs, and four blocks while Li chipped in 10 kills, five blocks, and two aces. Katie Rowe and Barden Cleeland both posted six blocks as Rowe totaled 11 kills and Cleeland added 10. Rose Zhong amassed 19 digs and nine kills while Katrina Ellison collected 10 digs.
Murielle Dawdy, Alice Cummings, and Billie Briones each registered double-doubles for the Blue. Dawdy notched 18 digs and 13 kills as Cummings posted 25 digs and 12 kills. Briones finished with 29 assists and 19 digs while Victoria Peng distributed 17 assists. Duff paced Wellesley's attack with 16 kills as Rasmussen and Waldman each registered five blocks.