Women's Volleyball Falls to Wellesley in Three Sets

Senior Kristine Bunker
Senior Kristine Bunker

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Wellesley College generated a .342 hitting percentage en route to a 25-13, 25-16, 25-22 victory over MIT in a NEWMAC women's volleyball match on Tuesday night. Junior Sydney Carfagno (Los Angles, Calif.) produced a match-high 14 kills for the Blue (18-2, 6-0 NEWMAC) to go along with seven digs, three blocks, and two aces. Senior Tatiana Berger (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) paced the Engineers' (14-7, 4-2 NEWMAC) balanced attack with seven kills and added six digs and two aces.

Wellesley jumped out to a 4-1 lead that grew to 21-8 in the first set. MIT put together a three-point spurt that featured a kill from senior Rachel Hunt (Arlington Heights, Ill.) and two aces by classmate Emma Gargus (Columbus, Ohio). A Carfagno kill stopped the brief rally and resulted in an exchange of points that closed out the set.

In the second stanza, the Blue built a 7-2 advantage, but back-to-back kills by senior Kristine Bunker (Falmouth, Mass.) along with strikes from juniors Jenny Astrachan (Austin, Texas) and Nicole Gagnier (Atlanta, Ga.) brought the Engineers within two (8-6). A kill and two aces by Carfagno fueled a 7-1 spurt that increased Wellesley's cushion to 15-7. MIT slowly chipped away at the deficit as two aces by Berger once again narrowed the gap to two (18-16). This was as close as it would get as a pair of errors led to seven unanswered points and the win for the Blue.

The Engineers registered the first three points of the final frame but Wellesley evened the score at four on a block by freshman Brooke Fieldman (Greenwood Village, Colo.) and senior Kira Jordan (Franklin Lakes, N.J.). A total of 14 ties and five lead changes would occur until an MIT hitting error and a Carfagno strike gave the Blue a 23-22 edge, forcing the Engineers to call a timeout. Following the break, Carfagno picked up another kill as freshman Maddie Koh (Seattle, Wash.) clinched the victory with an ace.

Bunker and Hunt both had six kills for the Cardinal and Gray as Astrachan finished with five of her own. Freshman Tori Wuthrich (Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.) led the way with eight digs, followed by six from classmate Jennie Glerum (Redmond, Wash.). Gagnier rounded out the squad with 27 assists.

Senior Kellyn O'Brady (Garden City, Mich.) tallied eight kills, a .583 hitting performance, nine digs, and two aces for the Blue. Senior Hilary Ayers (Coeur d'Alene, Idaho) compiled 14 assists, five digs, and three aces as Koh dished out 13 assists. Senior Traci Hamanaka (Burbank, Calif.) collected 14 digs while junior Caitlin Laughlin (St. Louis Park, Minn.) and Fieldman recorded six and five blocks, respectively.

MIT continues conference action on Thursday, Oct. 10 when it visits Wheaton College. Next up for Wellesley will be the Seven Sisters Tournament to be held October 12-13 at Mount Holyoke College.