MIT Blanks Clark in NEWMAC Volleyball Opener

Sophomore Nicole Gagnier
Sophomore Nicole Gagnier

WORCESTER, Mass. – In its first New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) match of the season, the MIT women's volleyball team defeated host Clark University, 25-16, 25-14, 26-24, on Tuesday night. With the win, the Engineers improved to 8-1 on the year and 1-0 in league play while the Cougars' record lowered to 4-3 overall and 0-1 in the NEWMAC.

After capturing the first set, MIT jumped out to an 11-3 lead in the second stanza and then established a commanding 20-8 advantage. Despite a Clark timeout, the Engineers went on to close out the frame by a score of 25-14.

The Cougars opened the third set with five unanswered points en route to a 9-3 cushion. The Cardinal and Gray slowly chipped away at the deficit, eventually narrowing the gap to 18-16. Following its own timeout, Clark maintained its slim edge but MIT evened the score at 24 and then picked up the next two points for the victory.

Junior Tatiana Berger (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) paced the Engineers with seven kills to go along with seven digs as freshman Meryl Gibbs (Bellaire, Texas) racked up five kills, three aces, and three blocks. Junior Kristine Bunker (Falmouth, Mass.) and freshman Morgan Stewart (Powell, Ohio) both tallied five kills while Bunker added four blocks and two aces. Junior Emma Gargus (Columbus, Ohio) contributed two aces and two blocks as freshman Lindsey Wang (Cupertino, Calif.) posted nine digs, followed by eight from senior Katie Spielbauer (Lakeview, Mich.) and seven courtesy of junior Jess Fessler (Shortsville, N.Y.). Sophomore Nicole Gagnier (Atlanta, Ga.) and senior Alyssa Rothman (Plainview, N.Y.) shared setting duties, dishing out 15 and 12 assists, respectively.

Clark, meanwhile, was led by Mel Conde (Union City, Calif.) who totaled seven kills of her own and Rachel Spera (North Hollywood, Calif.) who recorded a game-high 20 assists.

MIT sets its sights on its first home matches of the season on Saturday, Sept. 15 when it hosts NEWMAC rival Smith College and local foe Simmons College.

Release Courtesy of Clark University Sports Information