Volleyball Shoulders NEWMAC Loss to #22 MIT

Action photo of Lyons volleyball player, Sasha Simine.

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. - The 22nd-ranked Engineers of MIT used solid hitting throughout to best Mount Holyoke College, 3-0 in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) volleyball action on Friday evening. With the win, the Engineers are now 14-2 and 4-1 in conference play, while the Lyons slip to 6-7 and 0-6 in the NEWMAC.

First year right side Hannah Grupe (Oakwood, Ohio/Oakwood) paced the visitors with an eight-kill effort. She recorded just one error for a .538 hitting percentage, while also adding a pair of block assists. Senior middle hitter Carly Staub (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif./Palos Verdes) and first year right side Nikasha Patel (Paradise Valley, Ariz./Phoenix Country Day School) each added seven kills, with Staub posting two block assists also. Senior setter Christina Liao (Warren, N.J./Watchung Hill Regional) notched a match-high 31 assists.

For the Lyons, senior middle hitter and captain Jamesa Allen (Orlando, Fla./Lake Nona) had six kills and five digs. Classmate and fellow captain Sarah Caggiano (Leonardtown, Md./Leonardtown) had four kills with two block assists, while junior middle hitter Sasha Simine (Kitchener, Ont./Cameron Heights Collegiate Institute) added three kills with two block assists.

It was a close affair to open the match with the Lyons tying the match at 4-all on a service error by MIT. The visitors gained traction with a quick two-point run, which quickly turned into a 5-0 run to put the Engineers up 11-5. Junior outside hitter Alexis Groark (Elwood, N.Y./Elwood John H. Glenn) had two kills during the run.

MIT continued to press down the stretch, earning the set win following a 5-0 run, which included two kills from junior middle hitter Shea Landeene (Phoenix, Ariz./Desert Vista).

Following a second set, which saw the Engineers strike fast for a 25-13 win, the Lyons headed into the final set with momentum, battling back to take a 4-3 advantage following a solid block from Caggiano and Simine, along with a service error by the visitors.

The Lyons pulled ahead once again by a 7-6 margin, but MIT quickly tied the match, followed by a kill from Staub that gave the Engineers a lead they would not relinquish enroute to the match victory.

Mount Holyoke returns to action on Tuesday when it travels to Framingham State for a 7pm non-conference tilt. MIT is back on the court on Tuesday as well, hosting Babson in a critical NEWMAC match at 6pm.