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Led by Rogoz, MIT’s Volleyball Team Nets Four More Victories

By Paul Dill

The MIT women’s volleyball team continued to build on their strong start to the season by winning four matches over the past week to bring their overall record to 10-3 and their conference record to 3-0. Also, Frances M. Rogoz ’07 was recognized for her stellar play throughout the week with NEWMAC Player of the Week honors.

The Engineers disposed of Lesley College and Emerson College last Thursday night in non-conference action with brisk straight-set routs (30-13, 30-11, 30-12) and (30-16, 30-17, 30-19). Against Lesley College, Lindsay E. Hunting ’09 and Carrie C. Buchanan ’08 combined for 13 of MIT’s 19 aces, highlighted by Buchanan’s 15–point run to open the second game.

Alex N. Huston-Carico ’08 and Ellen E. Sojka ’08 led the offense with seven and six kills respectively. Rogoz, Cheryl M. Kwinn ’09, and Briana J. Stephenson ’07 each chipped in five kills for a balanced Engineer attack, as setter Amanda J. Morris ’08 distributed 30 assists.

Against Emerson College, Caroline D. Jordan ’06 and Stephenson each contributed eight kills, while Hunting and Buchanan fueled a robust service game for the second consecutive time, combining again for 13 of the Engineers’ 18 aces. Rogoz and Rose Zhong ’08 each scored seven times, while Arlis A. Reynolds ’06 led the defense with 10 digs.

MIT (8-3) again enjoyed a balanced offensive attack, with Austin Zimmerman ’06 dishing out 31 assists as the Engineers cruised to the win, exceeding season averages with 6 aces per game, 3 blocks per game, and an 0.321 hitting performance.

MIT swept their second NEWMAC match of the year at Babson by scores of 30-20, 30-25, 30-19. The Engineers used a strong team serving performance (13 aces) to counter Babson’s tenacious defense — all six Engineer starters had at least two aces.

While MIT piled up 46 kills in the three games, Babson’s aggressive back-line play held Tech to a hitting percentage of just 0.197. Stephenson led the Engineer offense with 10 kills, while Zimmerman scored nine times on just 12 attempts. Huston-Carico and Rogoz added eight and seven kills, respectively.

Reynolds anchored the defense for MIT, picking up 12 digs, remarkably just a shade below her season average of 4.19 digs/game. Hunting also reached double-figures in digs with 11.

Jordan served a nine-point run in the third game to open up a 13-4 lead, during which Babson was forced to use both of their timeouts. Stephenson added five points on three kills and a pair of blocks, as the Engineers extended the lead to 22-9, and Kwinn promptly picked up two digs and a kill on her first three touches as Tech cruised to victory.

On Tuesday the Engineers swept the Lyons of Wheaton College 30–16, 30–24, 30–14 in conference action to remain undefeated in NEWMAC and improve to 10–3 on the 2005 campaign.

Reynolds decimated Wheaton from the service line, scoring seven aces without an error on 20 attempts. During a nine-point service run in game three in which the Engineers opened up an 18-9 lead, Reynolds became MIT’s all-time career leader in service aces, surpassing the mark of 264 set by Barb Schultze ’02. Amazingly enough, that was only the second-longest point streak of the night for the Engineers, as reigning NEWMAC Player of the Week Rogoz rattled off 12 in a row in the first game to put Tech ahead by 24-9.

Rogoz, who matched Jordan with four aces for the match, was equally effective in the front row, scoring 11 kills on 20 attempts. Jordan and Stephenson each had 8 kills. Reynolds anchored the backcourt play with 13 digs, and Hunting added 8.

The Engineers were ruthlessly efficient against a stingy Lyons squad from the outset of the match, earning 26 of the 30 points in the first game with 21 kills, 3 aces, and 2 blocks. By the end of the match, every Engineer, defensive specialists included, had registered a kill.

MIT returns to action Friday night in Rockwell Cage for pool play action in the 2005 MIT Invitational against Emmanuel College at 4 p.m. and Williams College at 8 p.m.