SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – At the Hall of Fame Tournament this past weekend, the MIT women's volleyball team defeated Williams College (19-25, 25-18, 25-17, 22-25, 15-10) and Amherst College (25-20, 25-17, 18-25, 29-27) but fell to Bowdoin College (25-18, 25-19, 24-26, 25-21). Senior Katie Spielbauer (Lakeview, Mich.) was voted to the all-tournament team as the Engineers' overall record moved to 26-4 on the year.
MIT opened the weekend with the five-set thriller against Williams, marking the first time the Engineers have defeated the Ephs since 2007. That year, the Cardinal and Gray topped Williams in a five-set battle at the MIT Invitational and then earned a sweep at the Hall of Fame Tournament. Junior Kristine Bunker (Falmouth, Mass.) led the way with 13 kills to go along with a .316 hitting percentage and three blocks as senior Trinity Leonard (Mill Valley, Calif.) posted 12 kills, four blocks, and two aces. Junior Tatiana Berger (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) notched 11 kills as freshman Meryl Gibbs (Bellaire, Texas) registered seven kills and two blocks. Freshman Ada Taylor (Durham, N.C.) and junior Emma Gargus (Columbus, Ohio) both had three blocks while Taylor added six kills. Spielbauer racked up 29 digs and three aces as freshman Lindsey Wang (Cupertino, Calif.) tacked on 13 digs. Junior Sharon Hao (San Jose, Calif.) rounded out the back row with eight digs while senior Alyssa Rothman (Plainview, N.Y.) tallied 48 assists, six digs, four aces, and two blocks.
Against Bowdoin, both Leonard and Taylor recorded 12 kills while Leonard chipped in seven digs. In two sets, junior Rachel Hunt (Arlington Heights, Ill.) generated seven kills followed by Bunker and Berger with six apiece. Spielbauer and Wang both earned two aces and produced 22 and eight digs, respectively. Hao contributed nine digs while Rothman finished with 44 assists, seven digs, and three aces.
The finale with Amherst was MIT's first win over the Lord Jeffs since they met in the second round of the 2006 NCAA Tournament. In addition, Spielbauer and Taylor tied the Institute records for digs and blocks in a four-set match with totals of 34 and nine, respectively. Leonard earned a double-double on 13 kills and 11 digs while posting a pair of blocks while Taylor tacked on 11 kills. Bunker totaled 12 kills and three blocks as Gibbs tacked on 10 kills and four blocks. Berger registered eight kills and three blocks while Wang collected 15 digs and two aces. Rothman tallied 32 assists and eight digs as sophomore Nicole Gagnier (Atlanta, Ga.) dished out eight assists in two sets. Hao bolstered the defense with seven digs.
MIT returns to NEWMAC play on Tuesday, Oct. 23 when it hosts Wellesley College in its final home match of the regular season.