In a NEWMAC women’s volleyball match on Tuesday night, host MIT defeated Babson College 25-18, 25-19, 25-13. With the win, the Engineers improved to 17-5 on the year and 3-2 in conference while the Babson Beavers dipped to 11-7 overall and 2-3 in the NEWMAC.
Kristine A. Bunker ’14 racked up nine blocks to go along with five kills for MIT. Kelly E. Schulte ’12 posted seven kills and five blocks while fellow classmate, Cecily L. Joujon-Roche ’12 added seven kills and three blocks. Rachel A. Hunt ’14 bolstered the attack with five kills as Nicole C. Gagnier ’15 tallied 26 assists and three blocks. Katie K. Spielbauer ’13 paced the defense with 13 digs while Tatiana Berger ’14 contributed five digs. Natasha H. Jensen ’12 earned three aces as sophomore Sharon S. Hao registered four digs and two aces.
Babson went up 3-2 in the opening set, but a pair of kills from Schulte and a block with Bunker put the Engineers ahead for good. Babson stayed within striking distance for most of the frame as two kills and a block narrowed the gap to one (14-13). MIT responded with a block by Bunker, a kill from Hunt, and collaboration from both on a block which resulted in a timeout by Babson. After the break, both sides exchanged points until the Cardinal and Gray generated a 6-1 run for set point. A serving error and block kept the visitors alive at 24-18; however, a strike from Gagnier ended the game.
In the second set, MIT quickly created a 5-1 lead which Babson gradually trimmed to 9-7. The Engineers countered with an 8-1 run that was followed by a 7-3 spurt from the visitors. The hosts rattled off four consecutive points for a 24-15 advantage. Babson replied with four of its own, capitalizing on a pair of miscues. MIT ended the Beavers’ late rally on the ensuing serve when Berger’s kill off the Beavers’ block sailed out of bounds.
A serving error and three kills put Babson in front, 4-2, in the final frame. The Engineers responded by scoring nine of the next 10 points to secure the lead. Following a timeout by the visitors, an exchange of serves helped bring the Beavers within five (13-8). This was as close as it would get as MIT finished out the match with an 11-4 run, clinching the win on freshman Morgan Stewart’s first swing of the night.
The Engineers’ next match will be at Babson College next Tuesday.