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Volleyball Shines In Post-Season

Team Advances to the Finals of the ECAC North Championships

By Paul Dill

The women’s volleyball team ended the season with a strong showing in the East Coast Athletic Conference North Volleyball Championship Tournament, making it to the finals before losing to Bates. For the fourth consecutive year, the team has improved on its record.

Going in as the number three seed, the Engineers first played sixth-seed Wesleyan University in the quarterfinals. After losing the first game 11-15, MIT came out on fire and blew the opposition away 15-1. The third game again went to the Engineers and they looked to be in control of the match. However, in their effort to force a deciding fifth game, a very scrappy Wesleyan College squad took a 9-1 lead in the 4th game. The Engineers responded with a 14-1 run to win the game 15-10 and the match 3-1. Barbara J. Schultze ’02 and Parisa N. Habibi ’02 led the team defensively with 16 and 9 digs respectively.

Win over Springfield finally comes

In the semifinal match, MIT would face rival and second-seed Springfield College for the fourth time this season having lost all three previous matches against them. The match started out as if it would be more of the same as Springfield took the first game in an overpowering fashion 15-4. However, the Engineers showed incredible patience and slowly took control of the match.

MIT’s defense took charge digging up an incredible 113 of Springfield’s kill attempts. Springfield, unable to score easily, became very frustrated, especially when MIT’s offense started to kick into gear. The result was a sweep of the next three games by MIT 15-8, 15-12, 15-7 with Alarice C. Huang ’00 ending the match with service ace.

This was probably the win of the season for the Engineers as it was not only a great upset victory against a rival team, but it also propelled MIT into the finals of the tournament. The team was led by Jill R. Margetts ’00 and Kelly A. Martens ’03 who had 28 and 19 kills respectively. Alarice C. Huang ’00 dished out 54 assists and had 29 defensive digs, while Kathleen L. Dobson ’03 added 14 kills to the effort.

The finals against hosts Bates College was not nearly as dramatic, as an emotionally drained MIT squad fell short losing 0-3 (8-15, 13-15, 5-15). Bates came out of the gates on fire and although the Engineers fought hard to the end, the Bobcats were just too tough to handle on the day. At the end of the day, MIT took home the 2nd place trophy while Huang and Margetts made the ECAC All-Tournament Team.

Although they lost in the finals, MIT was very happy with what they had accomplished on the weekend and the season. The wins over Wesleyan and Springfield were the first wins for MIT in post season play since 1993. Also, their final record of 27-10 is the best record in the past five years, as is their final New England ranking of fourth out of 61 teams.