WESTON, Mass. – For the second year in a row, the MIT women's volleyball team was crowned champions of the Regis College Pride Invitational on Saturday afternoon. The Engineers defeated Husson University (25-16, 25-10, 25-13), Worcester State University (18-25, 25-15, 25-23, 25-15), the host Pride (25-13, 25-13, 25-15), and WPI (25-14, 22-25, 25-18, 25-10) to open the 2012 season with a 4-0 ledger. Junior Kristine Bunker (Falmouth, Mass.) collected all-tournament honors while classmate Tatiana Berger (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) was named Tournament MVP.
Freshman Meryl Gibbs (Bellaire, Texas) paced MIT's balanced attack versus Husson with six kills and a .385 hitting percentage. Senior Trinity Leonard (Mill Valley, Calif.) followed with five kills to go along with five digs as Bunker chipped in four kills. Junior Sharon Hao (San Jose, Calif.) tallied six aces and four digs while freshman Lindsey Wang (Cupertino, Calif.) generated two aces and three digs. Senior Katie Spielbauer (Lakeview, Mich.) led the defense with six digs as sophomore Nicole Gagnier (Atlanta, Ga.) totaled 12 assists, three aces, and three digs. Senior Alyssa Rothman (Plainview, N.Y.) rounding out the setting corps with seven assists in one frame.
In Friday's nightcap with Worcester State, Bunker led the charge with 12 kills, a .529 hitting performance, and three blocks. Leonard registered 11 kills as sophomore Jenny Astrachan (Austin, Texas) compiled nine kills, a .333 hitting percentage, four digs, and three blocks. Freshman Ada Taylor (Durham, N.C.) tacked on five kills and two blocks while Spielbauer recorded 14 digs and three aces. Wang bolstered the back row with seven digs and two aces as Gagnier finished with 36 assists, five kills, and four digs.
Against Regis, Leonard had a team-high eight kills and added six digs as Astrachan followed with seven kills. Bunker added six kills while Taylor and junior Emma Gargus (Columbus, Ohio) both finished with five kills. Spielbauer gathered 11 digs as Hao posted six digs and five aces. Gagnier totaled 19 assists and three aces while Rothman dished out 11 assists.
In the championship match with WPI, Bunker powered the front row with 12 kills and four blocks as Berger racked up 10 digs, eight kills, and three aces. Leonard notched nine kills and two aces while Astrachan totaled eight kills, four blocks, and two aces. Gagnier amassed 38 assists, five digs, four kills, two aces, and two blocks as Gargus chipped in three aces and two blocks. Spielbauer collected 21 digs while Wang earned two aces.
Next up for MIT will be the North Park University Vikings Clash to be held in Chicago on September 7-8.