Engineers Fight Off Babson in Four-Set Victory

BABSON PARK, Mass. – In a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference women's volleyball match, MIT emerged with a 25-16, 22-25, 26-24, 25-18 victory over Babson College on Tuesday night. With the win, the Engineers' ledger improved to 24-3 on the year and 6-1 in conference play.

In the first set, the Beavers built a 7-4 edge which was erased by an 11-2 run from the visitors that was capped on a block from junior Tatiana Berger (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and freshman Ada Taylor (Durham, N.C.). Babson picked up the next three points which cut their deficit in half (15-12) and forced MIT to call a timeout. Following the break, the Engineers mounted a 10-4 run that closed out the set.

The second stanza was a back-and-forth affair as it featured 10 ties and five lead changes. With the score knotted at 13, the Beavers put together a 5-1 spurt which resulted in a timeout by the Engineers. Babson maintained its slight edge until the Cardinal and Gray generated its own 5-1 run that evened the score at 22. The hosts countered by scoring the final three points of the frame to even the match at one set apiece.

The tight play continued in the third set until Babson put together a 9-3 run that created a 16-12 lead and caused MIT to call a timeout. The Engineers slowly chipped away at the deficit following the break, eventually tying the score at 21 on an ace by freshman Lindsey Wang (Cupertino, Calif.). The Beavers used a timeout but it did not stop the Engineers' momentum as they recorded the next three points. Taylor and junior Rachel Hunt (Arlington Heights, Ill.) collaborated on a block before they both earned kills that resulted in set point. Babson scored the next three points; however, they were unable to sustain the late rally as a hitting error and a strike by Hunt secured the set for MIT.

In the final frame, the early stages were closely played as there were six ties before a kill from senior Trinity Leonard (Mill Valley, Calif.) sparked a 10-2 run that put the Engineers ahead, 19-12. Despite the deficit, the Beavers continued to attack as they narrowed the gap to four (21-17). This was as close as they would get as MIT registered four of the next five points to clinch the match.

Leonard finished the night with 14 kills, nine digs, and two aces as Taylor posted 12 kills and three blocks. Berger notched nine kills while junior Kristine Bunker (Falmouth, Mass.) recorded six kills and three blocks. Senior Katie Spielbauer (Lakeview, Mich.) totaled 29 digs and two aces as Wang contributed 11 digs. Senior Alyssa Rothman (Plainview, N.Y.) tallied 43 assists and six digs while junior Sharon Hao (San Jose, Calif.) bolstered the defense with seven digs.

MIT will close out non-conference play this weekend at the Hall of Fame Tournament. On Friday, Oct. 19, the Engineers will travel to Mount Holyoke College where they will face Williams College. The next day, they will play Bowdoin College at Smith College and then travel back to Mount Holyoke for a match up with Amherst College.