Volleyball Defeats Mount Holyoke, Clinches No. 1 NEWMAC Tourney Seed

With a 25-4, 25-16, 25-11 victory over Mount Holyoke College, the MIT women’s volleyball team posted an undefeated mark of 9-0 in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) and improved to 25-7 on the year. The Lyons finished their season with an overall record of 4-22 and a 0-9 ledger in NEWMAC action.

MIT’s Barden E. Cleeland ’10 registered a match-high eight kills which put her over the 1,000 kill mark. She becomes the ninth player in program history to reach this milestone and the second this season as Alex May ’10 joined the MIT 1,000 kill and 1,000 dig clubs. Cecily Joujon-Roche ’12 notched seven kills as Cleeland tacked on three aces. Kelly Schulte ’12 posted six kills while May recorded seven digs, five kills, and four aces. Trinity Leonard ’13 tallied five kills and three aces while Jenny Li ’11 rounded out the Engineers’ attack with five kills. Cathy Melnikow ’10 contributed five digs and four aces as Alyssa Rothman ’13 collected 29 assists and six digs. Anna Dikina ’11 bolstered the Cardinal and Gray’s back row with four digs.

Both sides traded points to start the contest until the Engineers mounted a 24-3 run to win the first set.

The early stages of the second stanza were closely played as the Lyons came within one point on two occasions, the last at 8-7. MIT captured the next five points to gain some breathing room and eventually established a 24-12 lead. A trio of miscues and an ace extended the frame for Mount Holyoke, but Joujon-Roche’s kill ended the late rally.

The final frame featured five ties. Back-to-back kills from Leonard helped powered the Engineers’ spurt of 11 unanswered points. Schulte’s kill gave the hosts a 22-11 lead before three straight aces by Leonard sealed the match.

MIT will continue action on Tuesday, Nov. 3 when it hosts a quarterfinal match of the NEWMAC Championship Tournament. Should the top-seeded Engineers emerge with a victory, they will host the semifinal and championship rounds beginning on Friday, Nov. 6.