SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – In the program's 16th straight appearance in the NEWMAC Women's Volleyball Tournament semifinals, MIT fell to top-seed and host Springfield College, 25-12, 25-23, 25-20, on Saturday afternoon. With the loss, the Engineers close their season with a ledger of 22-11.
Freshman Megan Gebhard (Howell, Mich.) paced MIT's attack with 15 kills, followed by eight from senior Tatiana Berger (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.). Freshman Jennie Glerum (Redmond, Wash.) led the way with 14 digs while classmate Tori Wuthrich (Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.) totaled 12 digs and two aces. Junior Nicole Gagnier (Atlanta, Ga.) dished out 29 assists as seniors Kristine Bunker (Falmouth, Mass.) and Rachel Hunt (Arlington Heights, Ill.) both had two blocks.
The early stages of the first set were closely played as the score was tied at seven before Springfield capitalized on several errors to go up, 13-8. After a timeout by the Engineers, Berger posted a kill and ace but this was as close as it would get as the Pride closed out the set with a 12-2 run.
Trailing 13-10 in the second stanza, MIT converted a pair of errors and Gebhard kills to go up, 14-13. The tight affair continued as the Engineers fought off four ties before back-to-back miscues gave them a 21-19 edge. Springfield registered a pair of kills to even the frame but that was followed by an exchange of points. A block by Gagnier and Bunker put MIT in front at 23-22; however, the hosts generated the next three points for the win.
Facing a 12-8 deficit in the third set, the Engineers mounted a 9-1 run with Gebhard's block resulting in a 17-13 advantage and a Springfield timeout. The Pride countered with nine unanswered points to reclaim the lead. Two kills from Gebhard and a Bunker strike brought MIT within two (22-20). Springfield replied by tallying the next three points to advance to the NEWMAC Championship.