The MIT women’s volleyball team swept its way to the 2014 MIT Invitational title on Saturday, September 13, claiming its sixth championship in the 25-year history of the tournament. The Engineers (11-1) blanked Emmanuel College (28-26, 25-13, 25-15) and Connecticut College (25-17, 25-20, 25-12) on Friday before wrapping up the tournament with victories over Bates College (27-25, 25-17, 25-21) and Endicott College (25-21, 25-17, 25-17). Nicole C. Gagnier ’15 was named the Tournament MVP while Megan E. Gebhard ’17 earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team.
In the opener with Emmanuel, Gebhard paced a balanced attack with 13 kills to go along with two blocks. Morgan R. Stewart ’15 totaled nine kills, a .727 hitting effort, and two blocks as Allison A. Davanzo ’18 produced seven kills, a .538 hitting performance, and two blocks. Jennifer L. Astrachan ’15 added 11 kills while Gagnier tallied 38 assists, four digs, and two blocks. Tori L. Wuthrich ’17 collected a team-high 10 digs and four aces as Clare Farley ’18 bolstered the defense with six digs.
The balanced and efficient attack returned in Friday’s nightcap versus Connecticut College as the Cardinal and Gray hit .412 as a team. Gebhard and Astrachan both generated 13 kills while Jennifer A. Glerum ’17 racked up 16 digs, six kills, and two aces. Davanzo posted seven kills followed by six from Meryl E. Gibbs ’16. Lisette G. Tellez ’18 recorded eight digs and two aces as Wuthrich notched seven digs. Gagnier rounded out the squad with 44 assists.
Gebhard powered MIT’s offense with a match-high 19 kills as Glerum registered 10 digs and eight kills against Bates. Astrachan had eight kills and two blocks while Davanzo chipped in five kills and two blocks. Stewart completed the front row with five kills as Wuthrich and Tellez finished with 11 and 10 digs, respectively. Gagnier compiled her third double-double of the season on 41 assists and 10 digs in addition to earning two aces.
The Engineers closed the weekend with Gebhard totaling 13 kills and a .444 hitting percentage versus Endicott. Davanzo was a force at the net as she produced eight kills, a .667 hitting effort, and three blocks. Astrachan totaled 10 kills, three blocks, and two aces while Glerum posted six kills, three aces, and two blocks. Wuthrich amassed 15 digs and two aces as Farley racked up nine digs and three aces. Gibbs tacked on two blocks while Gagnier capped the tournament with 37 assists and eight digs.
Next up for MIT will be a home match against NEWMAC rival WPI on Tuesday, Sept. 16.