CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – After a tight first set that saw seven ties and five lead changes, MIT took control and went on to defeat Mount Holyoke College, 25-17, 25-14, 25-6, in a NEWMAC women's volleyball match on Tuesday night.
In two sets, freshman Abby Bertics (La Jolla, Calif.) tallied a match-high 10 kills to go along with a .471 hitting percentage and two blocks for the Engineers (11-1, 3-0 NEWMAC). Senior Emma Sweeting (Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.) paced the Lyons' balanced attack with five kills to go along with five digs and a solo block.
Mount Holyoke (5-4, 0-3 NEWMAC) took an early 6-3 lead in the opening set on kills from sophomore Katrina Meserve (Falmouth, Maine) and freshman Joy Maran (Santa Fe, N.M.). MIT recorded five of the next six points; however, the Lyons replied with a 6-2 spurt that put them back in front at 14-11 courtesy of a service error. A kill from junior Tori Wuthrich (Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.) in addition to back-to-back aces by sophomore Alli Davanzo (St. Johns, Fla.) ignited a string of nine unanswered points that turned into a 14-3 set-ending run for the Cardinal and Gray.
MIT carried the momentum into the second stanza as it raced out to a 6-1 advantage. Mount Holyoke slowly chipped away at the deficit as a strike by Sweeting brought it within one (11-10) and prompted a timeout by the hosts. Once action resumed, kills from Bertics and junior Jennie Glerum (Redmond, Wash.) along with an ace by sophomore Clare Farley (La Jolla, Calif.) gave the Engineers some breathing room. A pair of miscues quickly cut the margin in half but an attack error and Wuthrich ace increased MIT's lead to 16-12. Meserve and freshman Kerrie Greene (Alpharetta, Ga.) traded kills for their respective squads, moving the score to 18-14 before the Lyons' called a timeout. Following the break, the Engineers rattled off seven straight points as Bertics registered four kills and a block with Davanzo.
MIT continued its string of unanswered scoring into the final frame as it established a 13-0 lead before a block by Sweeting put Mount Holyoke on the board. The Lyons' never threatened down the stretch as a kill from sophomore Lisette Tellez (Miami, Fla.) clinched the victory for the Engineers.
Junior Megan Gebhard (Howell, Mich.) connected on six of her 12 attack attempts in the first set while Greene finished with six kills of her own. Tellez tallied a match-high nine digs along with five kills and four aces. Senior Meryl Gibbs (Bellaire, Texas) bolstered the front row with four kills and two blocks. Farley finished with four aces and four digs as Davanzo tacked on three aces. Wuthrich contributed six digs and two aces while freshman Fiona Tanuwidjaja (Renton, Wash.) dished out 26 assists.
Maran notched six digs and four kills as Meserve posted five digs, four kills, and an ace for Mount Holyoke. Junior Natalie Lyon (Oakton, Va.) rounded out the squad with 13 assists and a team-best eight digs.
Both squads return to the court on Thursday, Sept. 24. MIT will travel to local foe Simmons College while Mount Holyoke will host NEWMAC rival Clark University.
Game recap courtesy of Mindy Brauer, MIT Sports Information.