WORCESTER, Mass. – In its first NEWMAC match of the season, the MIT women's volleyball topped host WPI, 25-11, 25-7, 22-25, 25-12, on Tuesday night. With the win, the Engineers improved to 9-4 on the year and 1-0 in conference play.
Freshman Megan Gebhard (Howell, Mich.) led the way with 10 kills to go along with a .450 hitting percentage and two blocks. Junior Jenny Astrachan (Austin, Texas) posted seven kills while senior Kristine Bunker (Austin, Texas) totaled six kills, a .714 hitting performance, three blocks, and two aces. Senior Emma Gargus (Columbus, Ohio) racked up five aces, followed by three from freshman Jennie Glerum (Redmond, Wash.). Freshman Tori Wuthrich (Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.) collected 15 digs as senior Tatiana Berger (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) contributed five digs to MIT's cause. Junior Nicole Gagnier (Atlanta, Ga.) tallied 20 assists, five digs, and three aces while classmate Morgan Stewart (Powell, Ohio) tacked on two blocks.
Holding a 4-3 edge in the opening set, the Engineers used an 8-2 spurt to gain some breathing room. Following a WPI timeout, the hosts captured the next point but MIT responded with an 11-2 run to go up, 23-8. An exchange of points ensued until a Glerum kill secured the win for the Engineers.
After recording a service error in the second stanza that brought WPI within four (6-2), MIT mounted a 17-4 run to gain control of the set. Both sides posted a service error before a ball-handling error ended the frame for the Engineers.
The third set was closely played as it featured 10 ties with the last deadlock occurring at 16. A pair of miscues along with an ace gave WPI a three-point cushion. MIT came within one on two occasions, as a kill by Astrachan made the score, 20-19. WPI countered with four straight points; however, a pair of errors and an Astrachan strike narrowed the gap to 24-22. The Engineers couldn't extend the set any further as WPI converted on its next attacking attempt to force an additional frame.
MIT jumped out to a 9-2 lead in the fourth set and didn't look back as back-to-back aces by Gargus gave it a 22-10 advantage and prompted a timeout by WPI. The host Engineers registered a pair of kills following the break but MIT capitalized on an error, a Glerum ace, and a Gebhard block to close out the match.
MIT continues NEWMAC action on Saturday, Sept. 21 when it hosts Springfield College.