MIT clinched its 3rd NEWMAC regular season title in five years by defeating Wellesley College 3-1 (25-2-, 22-25, 25-21, 25-23) on Tuesday night. With the win, the Engineers pushed their conference record to 8-0, while lifting their overall record to 24-7. Wellesley fell to 5-2 in the NEWMAC, 18-9 overall.
In the opening set, the teams battled to a 10-10 tie before a kill from Alexandra T. May 10 sparked a 9-3 run for the visitors. The Blue trimmed the lead to 23-20, but got no closer as MIT closed out the set 25-20.
Wellesley rebounded in game two, jumping out to a 5-1 lead. MIT fought back, cutting the lead to one point on six occasions, but the Blue maintained the lead throughout the set for the 25-22 win and evened the match at one game each.
MIT took a 5-1 lead to open the third set, but Wellesley tied the score at 8-8. The Engineers regained an advantage with a four-point serving run from Anna D. Dikina ’11, with the help of two kills from Kelly E. Schulte 12. Wellesley capitalized on three Engineer errors and knotted the score at 12-12. After trading side outs to 17-17, MIT grabbed the lead for good, courtesy of two stuff blocks from Schulte and Cecily L. Joujon-Roche ’12 and one stuff block from Schulte and Jenny Li ’11 to spark a 25-21 win.
The Engineers grabbed an early 7-4 lead in game four, capped off by a kill from Barden E. Cleeland 10. Wellesley cut the lead to 11-9, but the Engineers replied with a 7-1 run that included three more kills from Cleeland. Wellesley bounced back with a five-point serving run trimming the lead to 17-16. MIT broke away again, rebuilding its lead to 21-17. Wellesley charged again, but fell short, dropping the fourth and deciding set 25-23.
MIT was led by May with 11 kills and 9 digs while Li added nine kills. Cleeland and Joujon-Roche each recorded eight kills for the visitors while Katie Spielbauer 13 led all players with 15 digs. Also for MIT, Alyssa L. Rothman 13 dished out 40 assists. Joujon-Roche and Schulte tallied five and four blocks, respectively.
The Engineers return to action on Saturday, October 31, when they host Mount Holyoke at 1 p.m. in Rockwell Cage in their final regular season match. Also, by earning the top seed for the NEWMAC, MIT will host the conference tournament this coming week (Tuesday, November 3 at 7 p.m., Friday, November 6 at 5 p.m., Saturday, November 7 at 4 p.m. — all in Rockwell Cage).