No. 18 MIT Sweeps Smith and Simmons

Nikasha Patel, Shea Landeene, and Carly Silvernale
Courtesy of DSPics.com

THE BASICS:

- Scores:

No. 18 MIT 3, Smith College 0 (25-13, 25-17, 25-17)

No. 18 MIT 3, Simmons University 0 (25-8, 25-19, 25-19)

- Records: No. 18 MIT (10-1, 1-1 NEWMAC); Smith (1-6, 0-1 NEWMAC); Simmons (3-7)

- Location: Northampton, Mass. (Ainsworth Gymnasium)

- The Lead: In a women's volleyball tri-match hosted by NEWMAC rival Smith College on Saturday, nationally-ranked No. 18 MIT defeated the host Pioneers (25-13, 25-17, 25-17) and non-conference foe Simmons University (25-8, 25-19, 25-19).

HOW IT HAPPENED – MATCH ONE vs. Smith:

- Set 1: A serving error brought Smith within 8-6, but a miscue by the Pioneers kicked off a 9-1 run by MIT which helped it record a comfortable 25-13 victory.

- Set 2: A kill by freshman Hannah Grupe (Oakwood, Ohio) sparked a 12-3 run which gave the Engineers a 16-6 advantage. The Pioneers quickly cut their deficit in half, however, a brief exchange of points ensued before MIT pulled away for a 25-17 win.

- Set 3: The early stages were closely played as there were five ties and three lead changes. Trailing 13-12, a kill by Grupe ignited a 13-4 match-ending run.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Grupe finished with a match-high eight kills to go along with a .583 hitting performance.

- Freshman Julia Caravais (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) tallied six kills and two aces in one set as junior Shea Landeene (Phoenix, Ariz.) posted six kills and two blocks.

- Senior Carly Silvernale (Bellevue, Wash.) led all players with 11 digs while freshman Margaret Wang (Rockville, Md.) followed with 10 of her own.

- Senior Christina Liao (Warren, N.J.) registered 33 assists and five digs.

HOW IT HAPPENED – MATCH TWO vs. Simmons:

- Set 1: MIT captured the first six points of the set and never looked back as it cruised to a 25-8 win.

- Set 2: The Engineers jumped out to a 7-2 lead and eventually established a 17-7 advantage. Simmons chipped away at its deficit, coming within four (20-16) on an MIT hitting error. The Engineers picked up four of the next five points, however, a pair of blocks kept the Sharks alive. The late rally was then thwarted by a Simmons serving error.

- Set 3: After a back-and-forth start to the set, the Engineers slowly built an 18-11 advantage. The Sharks replied with a 7-2 spurt to come within two, but MIT countered with a 5-1 burst to wrap up the match. Grupe was a factor in the Engineers' first three points of the spurt as she collaborated with senior Carly Staub (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.) on a block and then recorded back-to-back kills.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Staub led the way with eight kills, a .467 hitting effort, and five blocks while Grupe finished with six kills and three blocks.

- Senior Abby Bertics (La Jolla, Calif.) contributed six kills and three aces as junior Alexis Groark (Elwood, N.Y.) bolstered the balanced attack with six kills.

- Silvernale collected 12 digs and two aces while junior Madison Lee (Hillsborough, Calif.) notched seven digs.

- Landeene racked up five blocks as Liao dished out 24 assists.

UP NEXT:

- MIT will host No. 5 Johnson & Wales University on Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 6:00 p.m.

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