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Women’s Volleyball Reaches Semis of MIT Tourney

By Paul Dill

The MIT women’s volleyball team posted a 3-0 record before losing in the semi-finals of the MIT Invitational Tournament this past weekend.

The Engineers first took on Colby College and rolled over them easily in three games (15-8, 15-5, 15-5). Outside hitter Amy W. Mok ’02 led all hitters with 12 kills while Parisa N. Habibi ’02 added 10 digs to the defensive effort. Next MIT faced a very tall and athletic Eastern Connecticut State University.

After winning the first game easily (15-6), the Engineers stumbled in the second game giving up a large lead to lose (12-15). However, led by the dominant play of middle hitter Kelly A. Martens ’03 who had 15 kills, and the setting of Alarice Huang ’00 who had 40 assists, MIT took the next two games to win the match 3-1 (15-6, 12-15, 15-6, 15-10).

Having won their pool, MIT faced Western Connecticut State University in the quarterfinals. WCSU played a very similar style of volleyball to ECSU and the Engineers had an almost identical match against them, winning the first game easily, dropping the second, and then taking charge of the third and fourth games to win the match 3-1 (15-9, 9-15, 15-10, 15-11). Barbara J. Schultze ’02 was key in the victory as she picked up 17 digs defensively to keep the Engineers in point after point. Jill R. Margetts ’00 hit her stride in only her second match back after being out with an ankle injury. After reaching the 1000 career kill mark against ECSU, Margetts tallied 12 more kills against WCSU.

MIT fights hard against Wellesley

In the semifinals, MIT went against rival and nationally ranked Wellesley College. After surprising Wellesley early in the first game and reaching an 8 point advantage, MIT failed to hold on and lost the first game 14-16.

Disheartened after failing to put Wellesley away in the first game, MIT lost the second game without too much of a fight. Their backs to the wall, the Engineers fought back with a fury which again caught Wellesley by surprise. This time MIT did not let the lead slip and they took the third game 15-10. In the fourth game, Wellesley took charge early as the emotionally and physically drained MIT squad tried in vain to stem the tide losing the match 1-3 (14-16, 5-15, 15-10, 5-15). Margetts again led the way with 19 kills while Kathleen L. Dobson ’03 added 15 digs to the effort.

Wellesley went on to win the tournament beating Bates College in the finals 3-0, and setter, Huang was chosen to the All-Tournament Team.

On Tuesday Engineers travelled to Wheaton College for a conference match. After falling behind 0-6 in the first game, MIT woke up and took charge of the game winning 15-13. Another second game let-down saw Wheaton serve the Engineers off the court as they took the game 15-6. It looked to be more of the same in the third game as the Engineers found themselves down 3-10.

Huang decided enough was enough and served 10 straight points to demoralize Wheaton. After closing out the third game, MIT never looked back as they took the fourth game and the match 3-1 (15-12, 6-15, 15-12, 15-7). Dobson led all hitters with 21 kills. This win put the team’s record at 4-0 in the NEWMAC Conference, and 10-3 overall. The Engineers also remained in the fourth spot in the New England regional rankings.