No. 22 Engineers Defeat Wheaton in Four Sets

Carly Silvernale
Courtesy of DSPics.com

THE BASICS:

- Score: No. 22 MIT 3, Wheaton College 1 (22-25, 25-23, 25-16, 25-21)

- Records: No. 22 MIT (13-2, 3-1 NEWMAC); Wheaton (14-2, 2-1 NEWMAC)

- Location: Norton, Mass. (Emerson Gymnasium)

- The Lead: After losing the opening set, nationally-ranked No. 22 MIT came back to win the next three and record a 22-25, 25-23, 25-16, 25-21 victory over Wheaton College in NEWMAC women's volleyball action on Tuesday night. Senior Abby Bertics (La Jolla, Calif.) powered the Engineers with a match-high 26 kills and a career-high 18 digs while hitting .389.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- Set 1: The opening frame featured nine ties and four lead changes. Wheaton built a 19-16 edge, but an exchange of points ensued until back-to-back kills by Bertics narrowed the gap to 22-21. The Lyons responded by picking up the three of the final four points for the win.

- Set 2: The second set was also tightly played as there were eight ties and five lead changes. Trailing 16-14, back-to-back kills by junior Shea Landeene (Phoenix, Ariz.) sparked an 8-2 run. Wheaton battled back, tying the score at 23. Coming out of their own timeout, the Engineers replied with a kill from junior Alexis Groark (Elwood, N.Y.) and a block by senior Carly Staub (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.) and freshman Hannah Grupe (Oakwood, Ohio) to secure the victory.

- Set 3: After a back-and-forth start, MIT gradually pulled away and then put together an 8-2 run which resulted in an 18-10 lead. The Engineers maintained the small cushion down the stretch en route to a 25-16 win.

- Set 4: An ace by senior Christina Liao (Warren, N.J.) gave the visitors a 13-6 advantage. Wheaton chipped away at the deficit, coming within two points on two occasions, the last at 23-21. MIT thwarted the late rally courtesy of kills by Bertics and Grupe.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Groark finished with 13 kills while Landeene totaled 10 kills, a .500 hitting performance, and three blocks.

- Liao posted 41 assists, six digs, and two aces as senior Carly Silvernale (Bellevue, Wash.) generated 18 digs and three aces.

- Grupe led the way with four blocks, followed by three from Staub.

UP NEXT:

- MIT concludes its conference road trip on Friday, Sept. 28 when it visits Mount Holyoke College for a 6:00 p.m. start.

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