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Women’s Volleyball Defeats Springfield

Travis Johnson


Women’s Volleyball moved one step closer to a NEWMAC championship with a convincing 3-1 win Tuesday against Springfield College.

After two close games, MIT dominated the third and then continued its momentum to hold off Springfield in the fourth game and clinch the match. It was a big win for MIT, keeping them undefeated in conference play against a team entering with only one conference loss.

“This was always a big rivalry, and the respect level was high,” said Coach Paul Dill afterwards. “Winning this match helps us win the conference, host the conference tournament.”

From the start it was clear the teams had contrasting styles. The hard-hitting Springfield Pride, who came in leading the NEWMAC in hitting percentage and aces per game, used straight forward plays, hard hitting, and strong blocking. Ashley Reves, a left handed power-hitter for the Pride, was a particular focus for the Engineers because she leads the NEWMAC in service aces per game and is third in kills per game.

“We were keying on number twelve, the right hitter,” Dill said. “We really wanted to make sure we contained her.”

By contrast, MIT used many more drop shots and set shots, when the setter hits the ball over the net instead of setting up another player to spike it.

Starting setter Austin Zimmerman ’06 coordinated this intricate offense and had a spectacular night Tuesday, with 52 assists, well above her 11.46 assists per game average. She also added five kills from the setting position.

The first game was a back and forth affair that went to 25-25, when MIT took control and won five of the next six points with some spectacular digs and blocks.

The second game was more of the same down the stretch, as MIT came back from a 10-19 deficit to pull within 28-29 before losing to some big hits by Springfield.

The third game saw some lapses from Springfield, including some of their normally accurate hitters making unforced errors. MIT had no such lapse and took the first eight points of the game.

As Dill described it, “We did what we had to do, keeping the pressure on... But we got lucky.”

Springfield’s errors continued, and MIT dominated the game, at one point executing a perfectly run play with a set by Zimmerman and a kill by Caroline D. Jordan ’06, prompting a smile and skip from Jordan and a similar reaction from Dill.

The fourth and final game was close, but MIT controlled throughout with a five point run highlight including an ace with Joy N. Hart ’07 serving.