No. 15 Women’s Volleyball Sweeps Williams, Defeats Middlebury in Four Sets to Close the New England Challenge

Alli Davanzo
Courtesy of


- Scores:

No. 15 MIT 3, Williams College 0 (25-18, 25-19, 25-18)

No. 15 MIT 3, Middlebury College 1 (25-15, 25-19, 15-25, 25-18)

- Records: No. 15 MIT (24-2); Williams (9-11); Middlebury (16-6)

- Location: Williamstown, Mass.

- The Lead: No. 15 MIT wrapped up the New England Challenge on Saturday by defeating host Williams College, 25-18, 25-19, 25-18, and Middlebury College, 25-15, 25-19, 15-25, 25-18. Senior Alli Davanzo (Saint Johns, Fla.) represented the Engineers on the All-Tournament Team.


- Tied at eight in the opening set, MIT rattled off five straight points before eventually going up 21-13 after a kill by sophomore Alexis Groark (Huntington, N.Y.). Williams put together a 5-2 spurt but kills by Davanzo and senior Clare Farley (La Jolla, Calif.) gave the Engineers a 25-18 win.

- Trailing 9-8 in the second set, MIT registered eight of the next nine points on the strength of three aces by senior Lisette Tellez (Miami, Fla.). The Ephs narrowed the gap to 17-15 courtesy of a 5-1 run. A kill by sophomore Shea Landeene (Phoenix, Ariz.) along with a Farley ace gave the Engineers some breathing room before an exchange of points moved the score to 21-18. The visitors then scored four of the last five points to finish off the set.

- Knotted at 12 in the third set, a hitting error coupled with another Tellez ace created a small cushion for MIT. After trading several side outs, the Engineers mounted an 8-2 run to clinch the match with a 25-18 victory.


- Junior Abby Bertics (La Jolla, Calif.) led all players with 13 kills while hitting .407 percent. Tellez tallied a career-high seven aces to go along with seven kills and nine digs. Landeene chipped in seven kills as junior Carly Staub (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.) posted six kills and two blocks. Junior Carly Silvernale (Bellevue, Wash.) collected nine digs as Davanzo bolstered the defense with seven digs and two blocks. Freshman Andie Maloney (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) rounded out the squad with 36 assists.


- A kill by Tellez sparked an 8-2 run which created a 17-10 advantage in the opening set. Middlebury picked up the next two points but MIT generated an 8-3 run to claim the 25-15 win.

- Trailing 8-7 in the second stanza, a kill by Tellez kicked off an 8-2 burst that was capped by a Landeene-Staub block. After their own timeout, the Panthers narrowed the gap to 16-14. The Engineers replied with its own 4-1 spurt and maintained the small lead as Staub's kill gave them set point. Staub then collaborated with Landeene for another block to capture the set at 25-19.

- A Bertics kill along with back-to-back Davanzo aces opened the third set for MIT. Middlebury chipped away at the deficit before rattling off eight unanswered points that established a 12-7 lead which eventually grew to 18-11. Despite the margin the Engineers continued to attack as a kill from Bertics brought them within four (19-15). This was as close as it would get as the Panthers recorded the final six points of the frame.

- Trailing 13-10 in the fourth set, MIT registered the next four points, going ahead courtesy of Davanzo's ace. Middlebury evened the score but a Staub kill in addition to a block with Landeene created a 16-14 edge. Following a brief exchange of points, the Engineers produced five consecutive points that fueled an 8-2 match-ending run.


- Bertics had a match-high 14 kills while Staub totaled 13 kills, a .478 hitting performance, and six blocks. Davanzo recorded 10 kills, four blocks, and three aces as Tellez notched nine kills, nine digs, and three blocks. Landeene finished with eight kills and seven blocks while Silvernale racked up 16 digs. Farley produced 10 digs as Maloney posted 48 assists and seven digs.


- MIT resumes NEWMAC play on Tuesday, Oct. 24 when it hosts Emerson College at 6:00 p.m.


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