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Volleyball Finds Depth In Freshmen Recruits, MIT Starts Season 2-1

By Paul Dill

COACH

After losing five seniors to graduation, many expected this to be a rebuilding year for MIT’s varsity women’s volleyball team. However, with the injection of one of the best recruiting classes in the history of the program, the Engineers are looking to start right where they left off last season. Last fall the team posted a top-twenty national ranking, a number one regional ranking, and a 29-9 final record.

MIT kicked off the 2002 season with an away tournament at Franklin and Marshall College in Pennsylvania. With a lineup that had as many as four freshmen on the court at a time, the Engineers started slowly but saw continued improvement as the day progressed.

In their first match against Johns Hopkins University, the team found themselves down zero games to two. MIT battled back to tie the match at two to two behind the leadership of veterans Kelly A. Martens ’03 and Nydia M. Clayton ’04 who led the team with 16 kills each for the match.

Unfortunately, the comeback took its toll. The Engineers came up a bit short in the deciding game, losing the match 2-3. But the team began to click and MIT swept both Susquehanna University and Salisbury State College 3-0.

There were strong contributions thoughout the day from returnees Lauren E. Frick ’03 and Jill M. Kaup ’03, while the new kids on the block made their presence in the program known early.

Freshmen setters Austin Zimmerman ’06 and Jenny C. Alexander ’06 averaged eleven or more assists per game, while Arlis A. Reynolds ’06, Joy N. Hart ’06, and Caroline D. Jordan ’06 provided the additional firepower needed to start the season with a record of 2-1.

The team will have its home opener on Tuesday, Sept. 10 against Tufts University at 7 p.m. in DuPont Gymnasium.