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Women’s Volleyball Team Looks Strong in Win Against Wellesley

By Travis Johnson

MIT Women’s Volleyball won an exciting first game and dominated the second and third games to secure a victory against Wellesley on Tuesday.

The Engineers played with an intensity and precision that Wellesley had trouble matching. In each game, MIT grabbed the lead early and refused to relinquish it; the only deficits MIT faced all match were early 1-2 holes in each of the games.

Serving as motivation for MIT was the loss they suffered at the hands of Wellesley three days earlier. In that match, MIT jumped to a two games to none lead but saw their defense falter with the Wellesley team coming back to win the match 3-2.

“We were looking for redemption,” said Coach Paul Dill after Tuesday’s game. It was clear from warm–ups that there was an extra bounce in MIT’s step, that they really wanted this one. “They were very pumped to show them ... what we were really about,” Dill said.

The crowd didn’t hurt either: a big and excited crowd, by MIT standards, chanted, “Let’s go Tech!” and yelled “Boom!” when one of the hitters went for a kill.

The first game was a show of resilience by the Engineers, as they faced six tie scores after the first point and won all six. At 19-19, Wellesley was hot, winning 11 of the last 17 points. The teams played a long point, with dig after dig, that eventually resulted in a Wellesley miss hit and a 20-19 lead for MIT.

The first game ended similarly. The teams were tied 28-28 when Alex N. Huston-Carico ’08 killed a point, and Wellesley made an unforced error to give MIT the 1-0 lead in sets.

The second and third sets were more one-sided, with MIT dominating by 30-17 and 30-16.

MIT played well on offense, led by the 28 assists from co-captain Austin Zimmerman ’06, and had better defense, led by the other co-captain Arlis A. Reynolds ’06 who had 23 digs.

“The defense was 10 times better today,” said Dill. “Just because it was very, very steady, we really put them under a lot of pressure, and we just never let up.”

The statistics back up Dill’s statement: MIT made only four reception errors (when they try to dig an opponent’s attack but only knock it out of bounds).

The win puts MIT at 6-3, overall, 1-0 in the NEWMAC. Dill is optimistic about the season: “What I really like about this team is the team chemistry we have ... And I think we’re much better defensively this year both blocking-wise and floor defense.”

With their key players returning from last year and playing the way they did Tuesday, the team has every reason to believe they will improve on last year’s second place finish in the conference.