No. 21 MIT Women’s Volleyball Grinds Out Three-Set Win Over Wellesley

Shea Landeene
Courtesy of DSPics.com

THE BASICS:

- Score: No. 21 MIT 3, Wellesley College 0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-22)

- Records: No. 21 MIT (21-2, 7-1 NEWMAC); Wellesley (15-4, 6-3 NEWMAC)

- Location: Cambridge, Mass. (Rockwell Cage)

- The Lead: In a closely played NEWMAC women's volleyball match that featured 20 ties and six lead changes, nationally-ranked No. 21 MIT emerged with a 25-22, 25-23, 25-22 victory over Wellesley College on Tuesday night.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- Set 1: Wellesley established a 10-6 lead after an MIT ball-handling error. The Engineers gradually put together a 14-6 run, capped by an ace from senior Carly Silvernale (Bellevue, Wash.). The Blue battled back, coming within 21-20 on an ace by Becca Aristotelidis. MIT picked up three of the next four points as a kill by senior Abby Bertics (La Jolla, Calif.) resulted in set point. A kill from Nicole Doerges extended the frame, however, a hitting error clinched the win for the hosts.

- Set 2: The second set was a back-and-forth affair as there were 11 ties and three lead changes. A 4-1 spurt that featured two kills from junior Alexis Groark (Elwood, N.Y.) along with a block by Groark and senior Carly Staub (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.) gave the Engineers a 23-20 edge. Following its own timeout, Wellesley capitalized on a Doerges kill, a block by Lauren Gedney and Samantha Ostenso, and a hitting error to even the score at 23. Coming out of an MIT timeout, the Engineers stopped the late rally courtesy of another Groark kill and a block by Staub and freshman Hannah Grupe (Oakwood, Ohio).

- Set 3: MIT built an 11-4 advantage, but the Blue rattled off four straight points as a block by Yasmine Reece and Michelle Li prompted a timeout by the Engineers. Once action resumed, MIT generated a 6-2 spurt that resulted in a 17-10 lead. Despite the deficit Wellesley continued to attack, knotting the set at 22 after a hitting error by the Engineers. MIT responded with back-to-back kills from junior Shea Landeene (Phoenix, Ariz.) and an ace by freshman Margaret Wang (Rockville, Md.) to secure the victory.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Groark and Bertics both finished with a match-high 12 kills while Staub recorded six blocks.

- Silvernale racked up 20 digs and five aces as Wang finished with three aces.

- Senior Christina Liao (Warren, N.J.) posted 29 assists and seven digs while junior Madison Lee (Hillsborough, Calif.) notched six digs, and three aces.

- Gedney paced Wellesley's balanced attack with 11 kills as Doerges tallied 11 digs, 10 kills, and three blocks.

- Reece produced eight kills and five blocks while Nikki Jensen registered a team-high 12 digs.

- Li totaled 32 assists, nine digs, and four blocks.

UP NEXT:

- Both squads return to action on Friday, Oct. 19 at 7:00 p.m. for the first day of two-day tournaments. MIT will host Williams College in the opener of the New England Challenge while Wellesley will take on Amherst College to kick-off the Hall of Fame Tournament.

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