MIT Captures JWU Fall Classic Title

Senior Alyssa Rothman, junior Kristine Bunker, and senior Katie Spielbauer
Senior Alyssa Rothman, junior Kristine Bunker, and senior Katie Spielbauer

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – With a 3-1 ledger, the MIT women's volleyball team was crowned champions of the Johnson & Wales University Fall Classic held this past weekend. Senior Katie Spielbauer (Lakeview, Mich.) was named tournament MVP while classmate Alyssa Rothman (Plainview, N.Y.) and junior Kristine Bunker (Falmouth, Mass.) earned spots on the all-tournament team.

The Engineers (18-3) opened the weekend by sweeping Plymouth State University, 25-12, 25-16, 25-21. Freshman Ada Taylor (Durham, N.C.) paced the squad with nine kills, a .533 hitting performance, and five blocks while classmate Meryl Gibbs (Bellaire, Texas) produced seven kills, a .375 hitting percentage, and four blocks. Senior Trinity Leonard (Mill Valley, Calif.) posted nine digs, eight kills, and two aces as junior Tatiana Berger (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) tacked on five kills. Bunker registered three aces and three blocks while freshman Lindsey Wang (Cupertino, Calif.) contributed seven digs and three aces. Spielbauer collected 16 digs and two aces as Rothman tallied 20 assists, 10 digs, and two blocks. Sophomore Nicole Gagnier (Atlanta, Ga.) rounded out the squad with nine assists.

In Friday's nightcap with Johnson & Wales, MIT emerged with a 23-25, 25-10, 25-18, 25-16 victory. Leonard finished with 14 kills and 10 digs as Taylor recorded 12 kills, a .476 hitting percentage, and three blocks. Bunker chipped in six kills and four blocks while Gibbs added seven kills and two blocks. Berger notched seven kills to bolster the front row's efforts as Spielbauer collected 24 digs. Wang and junior Sharon Hao (San Jose, Calif.) had 15 and nine digs, respectively, while Rothman dished out 42 assists.

On Saturday, the Engineers fell to Western Connecticut State University, 25-21, 25-22, 25-23. Taylor led a balanced attack with nine kills and three blocks as Bunker posted seven kills and a .429 hitting percentage. Leonard registered seven kills and a team-high 13 digs while Gibbs contributed six kills. Spielbauer gathered 12 digs as Hao generated nine digs and four aces. Rothman earned 22 assists and three blocks while Gagnier distributed 14 assists.

In the Cardinal and Gray's second meeting of the weekend with the host Wildcats, it clinched a 24-26, 25-13, 25-18, 25-23 victory. Sophomore Jenny Astrachan (Austin, Texas) totaled 10 kills and eight digs, followed by nine kills from classmate Morgan Stewart (Powell, Ohio). Gibbs and junior Emma Gargus (Columbus, Ohio) both had eight kills while Gibbs tacked on two blocks. Rounding out the front row was Bunker with seven kills and Taylor with two blocks. Spielbauer amassed 31 digs and three aces while Wang notched 12 digs and five aces. Rothman tallied 35 assists, 13 digs, two aces, and two blocks as Gagnier picked up 10 assists.

MIT continues its road trip on Tuesday, Oct. 2 when it visits NEWMAC rival Wheaton College.