Spikers stumble at EConn
By Colleen Johnson
The women's volleyball team did not exactly fulfill its hopes at last weekend's Eastern Connecticut State College State Tournament. In fact, most of the Engineers' plans for the weekend fell through, leaving MIT with a 2-3 record and a loss in the consolation round, to Gordon College.
MIT faced stiff competition at the very beginning of the tournament from a Juniata College team on Friday evening, to whom the Engineers lost, 15-5, 15-6. MIT regrouped, however, for its match against Albany State College.
After losing starter Colleen Johnson '93 to a head injury, MIT was able to continue play successfully as head coach Karyn Altman '78 substituted Julie Han '94 and Stephanie Coleman '92 in Johnson's place.
Although the Engineers dropped the first game, 13-15, they pulled together to defeat the Great Danes in two neck-and-neck games, 15-13 and 18-16. Decisive play by captain Cindy Parrish '92, An-Na Liu '91 and Denise Nemchev '92 helped MIT to the victory.
The Engineers began Saturday's play with a quick 15-10,
15-7 victory against Rhode Island College.
The last and deciding game
in MIT's pool play against host Eastern Connecticut, however, was full of disappointment for the Engineers. After a sluggish first-game loss (10-15), MIT pushed to a 14-10 lead in game No. 2 with outstanding defensive plays by freshman Coleen Kaiser, followed by key sets by Debbie Rego '91 and kills by Susie Gardner '92.
Yet in the end it was all for naught. After a long series of alternating sideouts, Eastern Connecticut was able to catch up and ultimately won the game, 16-14, for the 2-0 match victory.
Its 2-2 pool play record landed MIT firmly in the consolation round, where it met Gordon College, whom the Engineers had beaten in September.
Gordon won the first game, 15-9, but the Engineers took the second, 15-13, setting up the third-and-deciding game.
The Engineers quickly pulled out to an 8-4 lead, but then began to trade point-for-point
with the Fighting Scot. MIT was poised for victory, with a 14-9 lead, but suddenly was unable to find a hole in Gordon's tight defense. The Engineers gave up seven straight points as Gordon fought to a 16-14 win.
After this weekend's play, MIT's record stands at 21-8 (5-0 in the New England Women's Eight Conference). Tonight the Engineers travel to Babson College for a NEW8 Conference match, and then host Worcester Polytechnic Institute Thursday evening in the duPont Gymnasium in what will be MIT's final home and final NEW8 match before the conference tournament, to be held at Smith College on Nov. 3.
(Colleen Johnson '93 is a member of the women's volleyball team.)