Bertics Breaks Record as No. 21 Women’s Volleyball Sweeps Clark

Abby Bertics
Courtesy of DSPics.com

THE BASICS:

- Score: No. 21 MIT 3, Clark University 0 (25-21, 25-9, 25-19)

- Records: No. 22 MIT (17-2, 6-1 NEWMAC); Clark (9-9, 1-6 NEWMAC)

- Location: Cambridge, Mass. (Rockwell Cage)

- The Lead: After a tight battle in the opening frame, the nationally-ranked No. 21 MIT women's volleyball team went on to defeat Clark University, 25-21, 25-9, 25-19, in NEWMAC action on Tuesday night. Senior Abby Bertics (La Jolla, Calif.) led all players with 28 kills, breaking the Institute record for kills in a three-set match, which was previously 22 and set by Barden Cleeland '09 against Williams College in 2006.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- Set 1: The first set was a back-and-forth affair as there were 12 ties and five lead changes. Freshman Hannah Grupe's (Oakwood, Ohio) kill in addition to an assisted block with junior Shea Landeene (Phoenix, Ariz.) gave MIT a 22-20 edge. Ana Patricia Mercado cut the deficit in half with a kill, however, the Engineers replied with another Grupe-Landeene block and a Bertics kill to reach set point. MIT then capitalized on a hitting error to secure the win.

- Set 2: The Engineers jumped out to a 7-2 lead, but the Cougars narrowed the gap to 9-6. This was as close as it would get as a kill by junior Alexis Groark (Elwood, N.Y.) ignited a 16-3 set-ending run.

- Set 3: MIT gradually built a 17-9 advantage after a kill by Bertics. An exchange of points followed, with a Bertics kill giving the hosts match point at 24-14. A trio of kills from Caitlin Leggett along with a pair of hitting errors extended the frame for Clark and prompted a timeout by the Engineers. Once action resumed, MIT stopped the late rally courtesy of another kill from Bertics.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Senior Christina Liao (Warren, N.J.) dished out 48 assists as the Engineers generated a .367 hitting performance

- Groark finished with nine kills while Landeene totaled eight kills and five blocks. Grupe produced seven kills and five blocks.

- Senior Carly Silvernale (Bellevue, Wash.) totaled a match-high 15 digs and three aces as Bertics registered 12 digs. Freshman Margaret Wang (Rockville, Md.) bolstered the back row with nine digs.

- Mercado paced Clark with 10 kills while Corina Picon recorded seven kills and a .467 hitting effort.

- Rachel Webb distributed 20 assists as Rayme Quiban collected a team-high 12 digs.

UP NEXT:

- Both squads take on non-conference opponents later this week. MIT will face King's College on Friday, Oct. 12 at 6:00 p.m. to open up the two-day MIT Quad Tournament. Clark, meanwhile, will host SUNY Geneseo also on Friday at 6:00 p.m.

STAY CONNECTED:

- For the latest on MIT Athletics, follow the Engineers via social media on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.