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MIT Volleyball Earns Consolation in Tourney

Coach Dill Records 100th Victory at MIT

By Paul Dill

TEAM COACH

After losing their first match of the tournament 3-2 to a strong Wesleyan College team, MIT put together a string of wins that saw them win the consolation bracket of their own Invitational Tournament last weekend.

Against Wesleyan, MIT was up two games to one and ahead 13-10 in the fourth when a controversial call went against the Engineers. Wesleyan took advantage of the momentum swing and took the 4th and then the 5th game to win the match. Middle hitters Kelly Martens ’03 and Lauren Frick ’03 led MIT with 13 and 12 kills respectively.

The next match against Smith College saw another battle come down to the wire with MIT finally winning 3-2 (15-6, 9-15, 15-4, 11-15, 18-16). It was Martens again who led the hitters with 17 kills while defensive specialist Saujin Yi ’01 led the team with 15 digs and Barb Schultze ’02 added 6 service aces.

The win over Smith College looked to have come with a price as leading hitter Martens sustained an injury during the match that would keep her out of the next match against Gordon College. With Martens out of the lineup, MIT dropped the first two games 5-15, 6-15. However, the team rallied and started to find their groove with the new lineup and managed to win the next three games 15-8, 16-14, 15-11 to take the match 3-2.

This avenged an early season loss to Gordon and gave coach Paul Dill his 100th victory as head coach of MIT. MIT then won another match, this time against Eastern Connecticut State Univ. and more easily: 3-0 (15-7, 15-10, 15-13). This game saw the return of Martens, who had 17 kills, while setter Christina Almodovar ‘02 dished out 39 assists, and Parisa Habibi ’02 added 8 digs.

This victory put the Engineers in the finals of the consolation bracket against Trinity College. After splitting the first two games, the third game saw Martens again leave the match with an injury. Before they knew it, MIT was behind 3-12, and then 6-13 Once again, however, the Engineers came together as Schultze stepped back to the service line to serve 9 straight points to win the game 15-13. MIT then took the next game behind the hitting of Amy Mok ’02 and Nydia Clayton ’04 to take the match 3-1 (15-5, 12-15, 15-13, 15-11).

On Tuesday night, MIT then travelled to WPI to put their unbeaten conference record on the line. After handling the first two games easily 15-11, 15-0, MIT stumbled a bit losing the next two games 7-15, 14-16. They were finally able to squeak out the win in the fifth game, winning 15-13. Almodovar led the team with 53 assists while Mok had 18 kills.

This win put MIT at 4-0 in the NEWMAC conference and 10-3 overall. The Engineers will play Springfield College this Tuesday October 3rd at 7 p.m. in DuPont Gym.