MIT received 25 combined kills from senior Trinity P. Leonard and first-year Ada V. Taylor and 43 assists from senior Alyssa L. Rothman en route to a 3-1 victory over host Babson College in a NEWMAC women’s volleyball match at Babson College on Tuesday night.
With the win, the Engineers (24-3 overall, 6-1 NEWMAC) remained in the hunt for the regular season conference title, tied for second place with Springfield with a key match remaining against first-place Wellesley. Meanwhile, fifth-place Babson (18-6 overall, 3-4 NEWMAC) will likely need to win each of its final three league matches to have a chance at securing its first home seed in the conference tournament since 1993.
Leonard led MIT with 13 kills in the victory, while Taylor hit .450 with 12 kills and only 3 errors. Senior libero Katie K. Spielbauer registered 29 digs for the Engineers, Lindsey M. Wang ’16 chipped in with 11 digs, and Tatiana Berger ’14 added nine kills. MIT hit .236 as a unit, marking just the fourth time this season that Babson allowed an opponent to hit better than .200 in a match.
The teams traded the first two sets, with MIT taking the opener 25-16 and Babson answering with a 25-22 triumph in the second. The pivotal third set then saw the Engineers rally from a four-point deficit with an 8-1 run to go up 24-21, only to have Babson fight off three consecutive set points to even the score at 24-24. A Babson attack error then put the Engineers back up by one, and Rachel A. Hunt ’14 followed with a kill down the right sideline off a Rothman set to clinch the frame, 26-24.
After exchanging 3-0 runs to start the fourth and final set, neither squad led by more than one until a 6-0 burst by MIT turned a 10-9 deficit into a 15-10 advantage midway through. The visitors’ lead would balloon to as many as seven on three different occasions down the stretch before junior Kristine A. Bunker’s kill finished off the set and the match, 25-18.