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The MIT women’s volleyball team opened the 2009 campaign by winning the Gordon College Invitational for the eighth straight season. The Engineers swept Endicott College (25-17, 25-22, 25-14) and Keene State College (25-16, 25-23, 25-12) before topping the host Fighting Scots (25-10, 25-20, 24-26, 25-17) on Saturday. Katrina M. Ellison ‘10 was named the Tournament MVP while rookie Katie K. Spielbauer ’13 was tabbed for All-Tournament Team honors. Alex T. May ’10 posted 11 kills and six digs as Ellison and Cecily L. Joujon-Roche ’12 both registered eight kills and four digs against Endicott. Jennifer Li ’11 notched a team-high five blocks while Barden E. Cleeland ’10 totaled four blocks and three aces. Catherine Melnikow ’10 paced the defense with 11 digs to go along with three aces as Anna D. Dikina ’11 contributed six digs. Alyssa L. Rothman ’13 tallied 34 assists and four digs while Spielbauer chipped in six digs.

Ellison recorded a solid hitting performance versus Keene State, compiling 10 kills on 15-errorless attempts for a .667 hitting percentage. May totaled 12 kills, four digs, and two blocks as Li and Cleeland each posted six kills and three blocks. Spielbauer collected 12 digs while Melnikow amassed six digs and five aces. Rothman notched 30 assists, four digs, and two aces as Joujon-Roche contributed two blocks. Dikina bolstered the Engineers’ serving performance with a trio of aces.

In her intercollegiate debut, Trinity P. Leonard ‘13 led MIT’s attack with 15 kills to go along with eight digs against Gordon. Kelsey K. Cappelle ’11 recorded 13 kills and two blocks as Kelly E. Schulte ’12 tallied eight kills and two aces. Spielbauer compiled 20 digs while Kate Kelly ’12, Melnikow, and Li each earned a pair of aces. Joujon-Roche contributed seven digs and six kills as Dikina tacked on nine digs. Rothman posted 41 assists and seven digs while Cleeland registered two blocks in two games.

On Tuesday night, May had a solid outing in MIT’s 25-19, 25-19, 25-22 victory over host Rhode Island College. In two sets, the senior outside hitter registered 12 kills, a .429 hitting percentage, eight digs, and two blocks as the Engineers improved to 4-0 on the year. Schulte notched eight kills and a .583 hitting performance in two sets while Leonard contributed seven kills and a .545 hitting percentage in one frame. Cleeland bolstered MIT’s attack with seven kills as Joujon-Roche led the way with three blocks.

Rothman posted the first double-double of her career, tallying 38 assists and 10 digs. Li contributed two blocks and four digs while Ellison chipped in two blocks. Melnikow compiled five aces and five digs as Spielbauer rounded out the defense with six digs.

The team will take their strong start on the road to Allentown, PA this weekend where they will participate in the Muhlenberg College Invitational Tournament.