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V-Ball Wins 2nd Straight ECAC Title

By Paul Dill

TEAM COACH

The MIT women’s volleyball team closed out its 2004 campaign by earning its ninth consecutive post season bid and by winning its second straight ECAC New England Championship.

After finishing the regular season with a 23-9 record and a second place finish (8-1 record) in the NEWMAC Conference, the Engineers went into the conference tournament with high hopes of earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Unfortunately, after dispatching Clark University in the Quarter-finals 3-0 (30-17, 30-20, 30-28), MIT stumbled against eventual conference champions Springfield College 0-3 (29-31, 22-30, 17-30).

However, due to their strong record and high ranking within the New England region, the Engineers earned a number two seed in the ECAC New England Post Season Championship Tournament.

Extremely disappointed in their performance in the conference tournament, the Engineers had something to prove and wanted another shot at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, who had beaten MIT earlier and who were also hosting the tournament as the number one seed.

MIT first defeated Wellesley College in the semifinals 3-1 (30-26, 24-30, 30-23, 30-18), marking the fourth time this year the Engineers have been on the winning side of this pairing.

Caroline Jordan ’06 posted her first double-double of the day, tallying 17 kills and 12 digs, while Joy Hart ’06 added another double-double, notching 10 kills and 16 digs, and registered a team high of eight aces. Arlis Reynolds ’06 led Tech with 17 digs while Austin Zimmerman ’06 totaled 40 assists, 10 digs, and two solo blocks.

Next came payback time against Coast Guard. MIT fought off three game points in the first game en route to a 3-1 (33-31, 30-24, 27-30, 30-27) victory over the top-seeded Bears.

Hart led the way with 17 kills and 26 digs while Jordan contributed 15 kills, 16 digs, one solo and three assisted blocks. Reynolds and Carrie Buchanan ’08 each totaled 21 digs while Ellen Sojka ’08 had 12 kills. Lisa Rossi ’07 posted 12 digs while Zimmerman dished out 50 assists, helping her establish the new career assists record.

Jordan earned Tournament MVP honors as Zimmerman established a new Institute record of 3,632 career assists. The Engineers closed the season with a record of 26-10 and final New England Regional ranking of number four out of 73 teams. The Engineers are 117-31 over the past four seasons with a .79 winning percentage.

Jordan and Zimmerman received NEWMAC All-Conference, NEWVA All-Region, AVCA All-Region and AVCA Division III Honorable Mention All-America Awards for their outstanding play throughout the season.