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MIT Wins Muhlenberg Tourney, Buchanan...s Defense Yields MVP

By Mindy Brauer

The MIT women’s volleyball team captured its second consecutive tournament crown as it won the Muhlenberg College Buttermaker Invitational this past weekend.

The Engineers, now 8-1 on the season, blanked Albright College (30-11, 30-16, 30-8), King’s College (30-13, 30-10, 30-10), and Tufts University (30-24, 30-12, 30-27), before falling to the University of Mary Washington (20-30, 30-28, 30-27, 19-30, 15-11). Despite the loss, Tech received the title as a result of winning five games in the championship bracket while Tufts and Mary Washington each won three.

Carrie C. Buchanan ’08 was named the Tournament MVP and Barden E. Cleeland ’10 was selected to the All-Tournament Team.

Cleeland recorded a stellar hitting performance against Albright, tallying 13 kills on 16 errorless attempts for a .813 hitting percentage. Frances M. Rogoz ’07 contributed seven kills while Katherine C. Rowe ’10, Briana J. Stephenson ’07, and Alexandra T. May ’10 each totaled five. As a team, MIT hit .358 for the match. Rose Zhong ’08 recorded a team-high nine digs, while Buchanan and Amanda J. Morris ’08 led the way with three aces apiece. Morris and Catherine Melnikow ’10 split setting duties, finishing with 27 and 16 assists, respectively.

The Engineers’ hitting success continued against King’s College, resulting in a .474 team hitting percentage (50 kills, five errors, 95 attempts with five errors). Rogoz recorded 10 kills on 15 attempts (.667) as Cleeland and May added eight kills each. Rowe hit five aces and Zhong contributed four of her own to go along with 10 digs. Defensively, Buchanan paced Tech with 22 digs. Once again, Morris and Melnikow shared setting responsibilities, dishing out 38 total assists.

In Saturday’s match-up with Tufts, Rogoz led the way with 13 kills while May added 12. Cleeland had a strong outing, finishing with 13 kills, five aces, and three assisted blocks. Alexandra N. Huston-Carico ’08 paced the blocking corps with five assisted stops. Buchanan scooped 15 digs and two aces and Morris dished 33 assists.

Buchanan (30 digs), Morris (27 digs), and Stephenson (9 assisted blocks) set new career highs in the Engineers’ loss to Mary Washington. Rogoz and Cleeland each recorded 15 kills while Stephenson contributed 14. In addition to nine kills, May bolstered Tech’s defense with 12 digs, one solo and six assisted blocks. Morris tallied 41 assists, resulting in her second double-double of the day.