CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Senior Kelly Schulte (Riverside, Calif.), junior Katie Spielbauer (Lakeview, Mich.), and sophomore Kristine Bunker (Falmouth, Mass.) were selected to the Capital One Academic All-District women's volleyball team as announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America on Thursday. The trio, which accounts for half of the all-district honorees, will represent MIT on the national ballot and will contend for Academic All-America honors to be voted on later this month.
A second team all-district selection last year, Schulte is a two-time NEWMAC all-conference pick and she ranked 10th in the league in blocks (69). She placed eighth on MIT's all-time list with 269 career blocks and led the team in kills (249), was third in blocks, and fifth in aces (28). Majoring in biology with a minor in nuclear science and engineering, Schulte is conducting research in the MIT Bioengineering Lab working with mice and fluorescent proteins to signal DNA damage and repair. In the Nuclear Science and Engineering Lab she used gamma rays to irradiate cells to see changes in cell density due to low-dose radiation.
Spielbauer was tabbed to the NEWMAC first team all-conference after leading the league in aces (82) and finishing 10th in digs (420). As the Engineers' primary passer she has a service reception percentage of .942 and currently ranks 22nd in the country in aces per set. Spielbauer is an electrical engineering major who completed an internship this past summer at the Fermi 2 Nuclear Power Plant run by Detroit Edison.
Bunker led the team in blocks with 93 while placing fourth in the NEWMAC this year. During her rookie campaign she ranked 20th in the country in blocks per set and broke the Institute record for blocks in a three-set match with 12. Majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in material science engineering, Bunker interned at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution where she processed and analyzed data, developed data collecting platforms, and worked with the platforms in the field.
MIT is the all-time Division III leader in producing Academic All-Americas and ranks third across all NCAA divisions with 175 honors. In addition, the women's volleyball program stands second with 15 selections as it trails Nebraska on the list.