No. 17 Women’s Volleyball Goes Undefeated at MIT Invitational

Abby Bertics
Courtesy of DSPics.com

THE BASICS:

- Scores:

No. 17 MIT 3, Lasell College 0 (25-12, 25-10, 25-11)
No. 17 MIT 3, Endicott College 1 (25-23, 25-21, 21-25, 25-17)

- Records: MIT (8-0); Lasell (0-7); Endicott (4-3)

- Location: Cambridge, Mass. (Rockwell Cage)

- The Lead: Due to tiebreakers, the nationally-ranked No. 17 MIT women's volleyball team finished third at the MIT Invitational on Saturday. One of four teams that went 3-0 during the weekend and also had a 9-1 sets won-lost record, the Engineers' point differential of +67 resulted in their third-place finish. Senior Abby Bertics (La Jolla, Calif.) represented the Cardinal and Gray on the All-Tournament Team.

HOW IT HAPPENED – MATCH ONE vs. Lasell:

- Set 1: MIT scored the first five points, including a pair of aces by senior Christina Liao (Warren, N.J.), en route to a 7-1 lead. Lasell chipped away at its deficit, coming within 9-5 on a kill from Meghan Roberts. The Engineers responded with an 8-3 run, capped by another Liao ace, to put the set out of reach.

- Set 2: The Lasers jumped out to a 6-1 lead, but MIT battled back, tying the score at nine courtesy of a kill by freshman Annie Bryan (Kirkwood, Mo.). Following an exchange of points, the Engineers put together a 6-1 spurt that resulted in a 17-12 advantage. Lasell stayed within striking distance, narrowing the gap to 20-18 after a serving error. MIT countered by registering five of the last seven points of the frame.

- Set 3: The Engineers raced out to a 10-0 advantage and never looked back as they cruised to a 25-11 victory.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Liao finished with 25 assists and nine aces.

- Freshman Hannah Collins (Sunnyvale, Calif.) led all players with 11 kills and hit .667 while classmate Nikasha Patel (Paradise Valley, Ariz.) totaled seven kills and four blocks.

- Freshman Julia Caravias (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) tallied seven digs, two blocks, and six kills.

- Sophomore Emily Condon (Orange, Calif.) bolstered the defense with three blocks.

HOW IT HAPPENED – MATCH TWO vs. Endicott:

- Set 1: Tied at 17, MIT generated a 7-3 spurt, reaching set point on an ace by Bertics. Back-to-back kills by Remi Quesnelle along with a hitting error by the Engineers kept Endicott alive. Following its own timeout, MIT thwarted the late rally when freshman Hannah Grupe's (Oakwood, Ohio) kill clinched the win.

- Set 2: The second set featured nine ties and four lead changes. Trailing 21-20, a serving error by the Gulls started a string of five straight points for the Engineers who captured the victory on a Patel kill.

- Set 3: MIT inched out to a 10-6 lead, but Endicott gradually put together a 13-4 run to go in front. Kills by Grupe and junior Alexis Groark (Elwood, N.Y.) bookended two blocks by Grupe and senior Carly Staub (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.), evening the set at 19. After their own timeout, the Gulls rattled off five straight points. Another Grupe-Staub block coupled with a hitting error extended the frame; however, Endicott responded with a kill to secure the win.

- Set 4: After a back-and-forth start to the set, the Gulls established a 13-11 edge. A kill by Caravais along with strong serving from freshman Margaret Wang (Rockville, Md.) which produced three consecutive aces, sparked a 14-4 match-ending run by the Engineers.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Bertics racked up 19 kills, 10 digs, and four aces as Grupe posted seven kills and six blocks.

- Staub posted eight kills and five blocks while junior Shea Landeene (Phoenix, Ariz.) registered eight kills, a .467 hitting performance, and four blocks.

- Senior Carly Silvernale (Bellevue, Wash.) collected a match-high 17 digs, followed by eight from junior Madison Lee (Hillsborough, Calif.).

UP NEXT:

- MIT returns to action on Tuesday, Sept. 11 when it travels to Springfield College in the NEWMAC opener for both squads.

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