MIT Defeats Amherst, 3-1, to Advance to NCAA Regional Final
Nov. 10, 2006
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - MIT made history for the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) on Friday as it set up the first all-NEWMAC NCAA Women's Volleyball New England Regional Final following a 30-27, 30-22, 25-30, 30-27, victory over Amherst College. The No. 2 Engineers (33-5) will host No. 1 U.S. Coast Guard Academy at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11. The winner will advance to the national championship which will be held Nov. 16-18 in Salem, Va.
The last time MIT advanced past the second round of the NCAA Tournament was in 1984 when it lost in the national championship. Coast Guard fell in the second round of their three previous trips to the tournament. Live play-by-play and color commentary for Saturday's match can be heard by logging on to www.sportsjuice.com.
In the opening game, the Jeffs (28-5) turned a 6-6 tie into an 11-6 lead. Amherst maintained the five-point margin until MIT went on a six-point run that resulted in a 15-14 edge. The Jeffs regained the lead at 19-17, but the Engineers scored eight of the next nine points to go ahead, 25-20. Amherst took the next four points, which forced a timeout by MIT. Tech took the point coming out of the break, which helped it generate enough momentum to close out the game.
In the second stanza, the Engineers established a 5-2 advantage. Sparked by a service error, Amherst captured four consecutive points for a 7-5 lead. With the game knotted at nine, MIT went on a four-point run to take the lead for good. The Jeffs narrowed their deficit to one (17-16), but it was as close as they would get as the Engineers won 13 of the next 19 points.
The early stages of the third frame mirrored the previous game, with MIT holding a three-point lead (6-3) and Amherst using a service error to take an 8-6 advantage. The game was a back-and-forth battle that saw the lead change nine times until the Jeffs went ahead, 23-22, later forcing a fourth game.
In the final game, Amherst built a six-point cushion (13-7) that held for the majority of the frame. Trailing 23-19, MIT scored six unanswered points for its first lead since the early stages of the game. Both sides traded points until the Engineers tallied three in a row to set up match point. The Jeffs won back-to-back points, but the late rally would not be enough.
With 60 assists, Amanda Morris moved closer to breaking the Institute record for assists in season while collecting 23 digs. The junior setter raised her mark to 1,352, needing just three more assists to set a new standard. Frances Rogoz powered MIT's offense with 21 kills while Alex May posted a double-double on 20 kills and 23 digs. Katie Rowe contributed 16 kills and a team-high eight blocks and three aces as Rogoz and Briana Stephenson both notched seven blocks. Alexandra Huston-Carico bolstered the blocking corps' performance with five stops. Carrie Buchanan collected a match-high 32 digs while Rose Zhong and Lindsay Hunting posted 17 and 10, respectively.
Jaclyn DeMais, Whitney Kouvaris, and Sara Heller recorded double-doubles for Amherst. DeMais finished with 26 kills and 21 digs, followed by Kouvaris' 15 kills and 25 digs and Heller's 47 assists and 14 digs. Kristin Quinn registered 13 kills while Laura Golden and Bethany Belisle amassed 17 and 15 digs, respectively.