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Women's volleyball defeats smith

By David Rothstein

The women's volleyball team opened the season with a convincing win over defending New England Women's Eight Conference champion Smith College Saturday in the DuPont Gymnasium.

MIT overcame a slow start and a 15-13 loss in the first game, and went on to beat the Pioneers in four: 13-15; 15-12; 15-7; and 15-3. Smith falls to 1-1, after an earlier win over Babson College.

Coach Karyn Altman, now in her seventh year as coach, credited her team with tough serving and a crisp transition game.

Smith, which lost a strong middle hitter (last year's NEW-8 Player of the Year, Nancy Satchwell) to graduation but returned two starting setters, led early in the first game, 6-2. Neither team played particularly well in the first game, according to Altman, but MIT's timidity paid off for Smith.

MIT again fell behind, 0-4, in the second game, but came back on the strength of tough serves by Nyla Hendrick '92 and Tonya Parker '90.

"We never got a chance to see if they had a middle [to replace Satchwell]," said Altman, because Smith's offense was disrupted by the strong serves.

The Engineers did not look back after the second game, jumping out to 6-0 and 8-1 leads in the third and fourth games, respectively, en route to the easy victory.

Four MIT players had more than 30 attempts each as Cecilia Warpinski '90 (23 kills, .404 hitting), Debbie Nungester '90 (14, .363), Cynthia Parrish '92 (14 kills), and Parker (11 kills) led MIT's offense. Senior Jenny Harris set most of the match and was able to take advantage of strong passing by her teammates.

MIT travels to Wheaton College Tuesday night.