Volleyball sweeps WPI to advance

Engineers will face Springfield in NEWMAC Semifinals

With a 25-15, 25-8, 25-23 victory over WPI in NEWMAC Championship Tournament quarterfinal match on Tuesday, the MIT women’s volleyball team clinched a spot in the semifinal round for the 13th straight season. No. 4-seeded MIT improved to 21-13 on the year and will face host and top seed Springfield College on Saturday, Nov. 6 at 1 p.m. No. 5 WPI closed its season with a final record of 22-9.

In the opening set, WPI used an error, a kill, and a block to go ahead 6-5. The host Engineers responded with an 8-1 spurt which secured their lead for good. The visitors stayed within striking distance and at one point cut the lead to five (18-13), but MIT countered by scoring seven of the last nine points to capture the set.

WPI trailed, 4-3, in the second set before MIT took control and closed out the frame with a 21-5 run.

The early stages of the third set were closely played until MIT used a 6-1 spurt to extend its advantage to 15-8. WPI slowly chipped away at the deficit and eventually narrowed the gap to 23-21. A strike by Rachel A. Hunt ’14 set up match point, but WPI stayed alive in the off a block. It would not be enough as a hit by Anna C. “Kate” Kelly ’12 from the back row secured the win for MIT.

Sharon S. Hao ’14 compiled 11 assists, five digs, four aces, and three kills for MIT. Kelly E. Schulte ’12 and Tatiana Berger ’14 each had five kills while Jenny Li ’11 added four kills and three blocks. Kristine A. Bunker ’14 racked up seven blocks and three kills as Emma S. Gargus ’14 chipped in four kills. Trinity P. Leonard ’13 rounded out the balanced attack with three kills while Cecily L. Joujon-Roche ’12 earned three aces. Katie K. Spielbauer ’13 collected a match-high 14 digs as Jessica L. Fessler ’14 and Kelly finished with seven and six respectively. Alyssa L. Rothman ’13 bolstered the setting unit with 13 assists.