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Volleyball Continues Tournament Success

By Paul Dill

This past weekend, the women’s volleyball team travelled to Bates College for a 14 team tournament, managing to take three out of four matches on their way to a third place finish.

The Engineers first faced Brandeis University, which could not seem to find its way against MIT in the first two games losing 4-15, 7-15, before rallying in the third game to surprise the Engineers 15-13. However, MIT regained its composure in the fourth game winning 15-9 to take the match 3-1. The Engineers were led by Kathleen L. Dobson ’03 who powered her way to 15 kills, 12 digs and three service aces.

The next match saw MIT take on local rival Tufts University. Although unranked in the region and barely winning their first match against a weak Bowdoin College squad, Tufts came out of the gate on fire catching MIT off balance and winning the first game 15-7. This time it was the seniors who stepped up to take back control of the match. Jill R. Margetts ’00 managed to befuddle the Tufts defense and racked up 23 kills, while Alarice Huang ’00 dished out 51 assists as MIT rallied to win the next three games and the match 3-1 (7-15, 15-10, 15-8, 15-7).

MIT finishes 3-1 in tournament

A highly ranked Springfield College waited next in the semifinals for the Engineers. The team got out to a slow start this time and paid the price losing the first two games 10-15, 1-15. The insertion of sophomore setter Christina Almodovar ’02 in the third game seemed to be just what the doctor ordered as MIT managed to take the game 15-12. The fourth game turned out to be a back and forth affair going to 12-12, but unfortunately, Springfield pulled away at the end and MIT lost a hard fought match 1-3 (10-15, 1-15, 15-12, 12-15). Kelly A. Martens ’03 fought the good fight with 12 kills and a 0.46 hitting percentage, while Barbara J. Schultze ’02 added 22 defensive digs.

In the third-place match, MIT faced a very strong Williams College team. After splitting the first two games, the third game went right down to the wire with MIT just falling short and losing 16-18. Down 2 games to 1, the Engineers fought for their lives and rallied back to win the next game 15-13 to tie the match at two games a piece. The fifth and deciding game remained close throughout before MIT finally pulled away. It was Parisa N. Habibi ’02 making a back row attack, throwing the Williams defense off balance, that resulted in a final unforced error by Williams to end the match in favor of MIT 3-2 (6-15, 15-6, 16-18, 15-13, 15-10).

The inspired play of Habibi with 30 digs and Almodovar with 21 digs made the difference and gave the Engineers a 3rd place finish in the tournament. Also, for the third tournament in a row, Huang received All-Tournament honors.

This past Tuesday, MIT travelled to Mount Holyoke College to put its unbeaten conference record on the line. The Engineers won easily 3-0 (15,9, 15-7, 15-7) to raise their conference record to 5-0 and their overall record to 14-4. The next home match for women’s volleyball is this coming Tuesday, October 12, at 7:00 p.m. against Springfield College in Dupont Gymnasium.