Balanced Performance Powers No. 21 MIT in Sweep of King’s

Carly Silvernale and Margaret Wang
Courtesy of Maude Gull

THE BASICS:

- Score: No. 21 MIT 3, King's College (Pa.) 0 (25-15, 25-19, 25-21)

- Records: MIT (18-2); King's (16-6)

- Location: Cambridge, Mass. (Rockwell Cage)

- The Lead: In the first meeting between both teams since 2006, nationally-ranked No. 21 MIT defeated King's College, 25-15, 25-19, 25-21, to open the MIT Women's Volleyball Quad Tournament on Friday night. Playing in only the third set, freshman Nikasha Patel (Paradise Valley, Ariz.) generated a match-high nine kills and hit .500 for the Engineers.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- Set 1: Holding a 10-9 edge, a kill by junior Alexis Groark (Elwood, N.Y.) kicked off a four-point spurt by MIT. King's stayed close, narrowing the gap to 16-13 on a Rachel Miller kill. The Engineers responded with a kill from freshman Hannah Grupe (Oakwood, Ohio), sparking a 9-2 run to end the set.

- Set 2: The Monarchs raced out to an 8-3 lead following an ace by Lindsey Brady. MIT chipped away at the deficit and on the strength of strong serving by senior Christina Liao (Warren, N.J.), the hosts went ahead, 13-9. King's capitalized on a pair of MIT errors and an Olivia Musto kill to come within one, however, the Engineers countered with their own three-point burst. The Monarchs continued to attack, closing the gap to two on two occasions, the last at 17-15 on Rachel Galante's kill. A hitting error ignited a 7-1 run as freshman Annie Bryan's (Kirkwood, Mo.) kill gave MIT set point. King's extended the frame courtesy of a serving error, a Brady ace, and a block by Danielle Kitchner and Musto. A kill by Groark stopped the late rally and clinched the win.

- Set 3: The Engineers recorded the first six points of the set, but the Monarchs tied the score at seven after an MIT hitting error. Following their own timeout, the Engineers put together a 7-2 burst. King's battled back, eventually coming within 19-18 on an ace by Sarah Hayward. Kills by Patel and Liao gave MIT a slight edge before an exchange of points ensued, moving the score to 23-21. Back-to-back kills by Grupe secured the victory for the Engineers.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Liao totaled 31 assists, seven digs, and three aces as MIT had a .323 hitting performance.

- Groark finished with seven kills and two blocks while Bryan generated three blocks.

- Senior Carly Silvernale (Bellevue, Wash.) collected 10 digs as freshman Margaret Wang (Rockville, Md.) posted six digs and two aces.

- Grupe and junior Shea Landeene (Phoenix, Ariz.) bolstered the defense with two blocks apiece.

- Miller led King's with six kills, followed by five from Musto.

- Wiatt Hoffman tallied 16 assists, five digs, and three aces while Taylor Mueller produced a match-high 11 digs and two aces.

UP NEXT:

- MIT and King's return to action on Saturday, Oct. 13 with matches at 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to close out the MIT Quad Tournament. The Engineers will face Utica College followed by Hunter College. The Monarchs, meanwhile, will take on Hunter College and Utica College.

STAY CONNECTED:

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