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Volleyball Alone on Top of NEWMAC

By Mindy Brauer

In a battle between two undefeated New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference women’s volleyball teams, MIT prevailed over Springfield and kept its record intact with a 30-26, 30-16, 30-15 victory over Springfield College on Tuesday night.

The Engineers improved to 16-1 on the year and 4-0 in conference play while the Pride fell to 13-3 overall and 3-1 in the NEWMAC.

Despite surrendering the first two points of the opening game, Springfield powered to a 10-5 lead. Behind a pair of four-point runs, MIT overcame the deficit to take a 13-11 edge. Later on in the frame, the Engineers established a five-point margin (25-20), but the Pride battled back to come within one. Following an MIT timeout, the Engineers responded by posting five of the next seven points for the win.

MIT carried the momentum into the second game and jumped out to an 8-3 lead. Springfield was able to close the gap to 11-7, but 10 unanswered points by the Engineers put the game out of reach for the visitors.

Tech quickly established another early lead in the third game, this time 6-1. The Pride scored the next three points, but MIT answered and extended its margin to 10-5. The teams continued to spar, with Springfield generating a four-point rally and the Engineers following with a six-point run making the score 16-9.

The teams played nearly even to a 19-13 score, when solid serving by Rose Zhong ’08 helped propel Tech on a nine point run to put the final game out of reach at 28-13.

Amanda J. Morris ’08 paced MIT with 19 digs and 33 assists while Alexandra T. May ’10 and Carrie C. Buchanan ’08 contributed 16 and 15 digs, respectively. Barden E. Cleeland ’10 led the front row with 14 kills and three blocks, and Frances M. Rogoz ’07 and May each added 9 kills. Zhong and Buchanan led the Engineers with two aces apiece.

Next up for MIT is the Tufts University Invitational this weekend while Springfield resumes action on Oct. 3 when it travels to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.