CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – For the second year in a row, the MIT women's volleyball team saw three players earn Capital One Academic All-District honors as announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America on Thursday. Senior Katie Spielbauer (Lakeview, Mich.) and junior Kristine Bunker (Falmouth, Mass.) received their second selection while junior Sharon Hao (San Jose, Calif.) was tabbed for the first time. The trio, which accounts for half of the all-district honorees, will represent the Engineers on the national ballot and will contend for Academic All-America honors to be voted on later this month.
An AVCA All-New England selection, Spielbauer became the first libero in the history of the NEWMAC to be selected Athlete of the Year while earning her second straight first-team all-conference selection. She leads the NEWMAC in digs (647) and digs per set (5.26) while ranking second in aces (64) and third in aces per set (0.52). She currently stands second in the MIT recordbook for career digs with 1,966 and is seventh in career aces with 185. Majoring in electrical engineering with a concentration in Spanish, Spielbauer is a three-time NEWMAC Academic All-Conference honoree. She completed an electrical engineering internship at the Fermi 2 Nuclear Power Plant run by Detroit Edison and conducted research at the University of Michigan Cancer Center in esophageal adenocarcinoma.
Bunker, the 2012 NEWMAC Tournament Most Outstanding Player was also named to the NEWMAC all-conference first team. She currently ranks 13th in the nation in hitting percentage (.371) and is fourth in the NEWMAC in blocks (84). Majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in materials science engineering, Bunker interned at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution where she processed and analyzed data, developed data collecting platforms, and worked with the platforms in the field. She also studied in the MIT IDC Lab working with the Future of Manufacturing. A member of the Society of Women Engineers and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Bunker serves as the MIT American Society of Mechanical Engineers publicity chair.
A two-time NEWMAC academic all-conference pick, Hao ranks third on the team in aces (41) and fourth in digs (224). An electrical engineering and computer science major, she was a software engineer intern at Facebook where she worked on the iPhone app, Facebook Camera. Hao also completed an internship with WeaverMobile, a startup that makes iPhone applications. In addition, she did a UROP in underwater robotics where she worked with the PR2 (large robot) to collect data used for autonomous, long-term underwater mapping.
MIT is the all-time Division III leader in producing Academic All-Americas and ranks third across all NCAA divisions with 188 honors. In addition, the women's volleyball program stands second with 15 selections as it trails Nebraska on the list.