Five Engineers Earn NEWMAC Weekly Accolades
Following a highly successful week by a number of MIT teams, five student-athletes earned Athlete of the Week Awards from the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) on Monday. Hemagiri Arumugam ’10, Leslie A. Hansen ’10, Emily Kuo ’13, Kelly E. Schulte ’12 and Jacqueline M. Wentz ’10 were each tabbed as the league’s top performer of the week in their respective sports. Garnering Women’s Cross Country Runner of the Week honors, Wentz helped MIT capture first place at the UMass-Dartmouth Invitational, a meet that featured many of the top squads in New England, including a number of NEWMAC schools. Wentz was the top overall finisher, a feat she accomplished twice as a junior, breaking the tape 19 seconds faster than her nearest competitor with a time of 17:40.
Wentz was joined by her male counterpart, Arumugam, who helped MIT earn a sixth-place finish among 37 teams at UMass-Dartmouth. Arumugam’s time of 25:05 was good for 7th overall, fifth best of all Division III runners and tops among NEWMAC competitors.
In a 2-0 week for the volleyball squad, Schulte averaged 3.67 kills, 1.17 aces, 1.67 digs, 0.83 blocks, and a .600 hitting percentage. Against Clark, she registered 11 kills on 19-errorless attempts for a .579 hitting percentage, five digs, four aces, and three blocks in a 3-0 decision. In Saturday’s sweep of Smith, Schulte posted 11 kills, a .625 hitting performance, five digs, three aces, and two blocks. She finished the week with 22 kills, 10 digs, seven aces, and five blocks.
Kuo, a freshman on the women’s soccer team, had two goals and three assists in MIT’s 5-0 victory over UMass Dartmouth, her first collegiate start. Kuo’s seven points are the most scored in a single game by an MIT player since the 2007 season. In MIT’s only game this week, Kuo helped the Engineers improve their record to 3-2 and extend their winning streak to three. With four goals and three assists, Kuo now leads the Engineers with 11 points on the season.
Finally, Hansen was selected as the Women’s Tennis Singles Player of the Week after posting 2-1 record at this weekend’s ITA Women’s New England Regional Championship. Last year’s runner-up, Hansen won her first two matches in straight sets over opponents from Middlebury and Smith. In the third round, Hansen won the first set over Williams’ Kristin Alotta but Alotta, who would advance to win the individual title, rallied to win [2-6, 6-0 (10-8)]. Hasen’s singles record improved to 3-1 on the season.
MIT Tops Springfield;
May Records 1000th Kill
With a 25-20, 25-22, 22-25, 25-22 decision, the MIT women’s volleyball team topped previously undefeated Springfield College in a New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) contest on Tuesday night. Senior Alexandra T. May recorded a match-high 19 kills for the Engineers (9-2, 3-0 NEWMAC) to become the eighth player in the program’s history to surpass the 1,000-kill mark.
In the opening frame, MIT established an 8-4 lead which was quickly erased by five straight point by the Pride (9-1, 1-1 NEWMAC). Each side exchanged points until a service error and a pair of aces by Catherine Melnikow ’09 put the Cardinal and Gray ahead, 13-11. Springfield responded with a 7-2 spurt, but the Engineers rallied, capturing 10 out of the last 12 points to close out the set. May was a factor in the final four points as she collaborated with Barden E. Cleeland ‘10 for a block before earning three straight kills.
With the second stanza knotted at six, Springfield slowly created a 16-8 advantage. MIT battled back as it mounted a 17-6 run to claim the second set. Jennifer Li ’11 gave the Engineers their first lead of the set at 20-19 before striking the game-winning hit.
The Pride raced out to a 5-1 lead in the third set, but MIT chipped away and eventually evened the frame at nine. Each side picked up four points until a hitting error shifted the momentum to Springfield as it inched out to a 21-17 advantage. A kill by Lauren Torvi gave the Pride set point, but a kill by May coupled with a Springfield hitting error brought the Engineers within two (24-22). Hopes of maintaining the late rally were thwarted by an MIT miscue.
In the final frame Springfield jumped out to a 6-1 advantage and went on to hold a 12-7 lead. The Engineers responded with a 9-2 spurt but a pair of miscues put the Pride up, 17-16. MIT bounced back by scoring five of the next six points for a slim 21-18 edge. Both sides exchanged points to close out the contest.
Cleeland posted 11 kills and four blocks as Li added 11 kills and three blocks. Cecily L. Joujon-Roche ’12 notched three blocks while May finished with nine digs and three blocks. Anna D. Dikina ’11 compiled 14 digs as Katie K. Spielbauer ’13 chipped in 11 of her own. Melnikow totaled nine digs and three aces while Alyssa L. Rothman ’13 dished out 42 assists.
Both squads will return to action at the MIT Invitational Friday, Sept. 25 and Saturday, Sept. 26.
—Mindy Brauer, DAPER Staff