Women's Volleyball Sweeps Wellesley to Capture Second Straight NEWMAC Championship

NEWMAC Championship
Courtesy of Paul Rutherford

THE BASICS:

- Score: MIT 3, Wellesley College 0 (25-23, 25-15, 25-21)

- Records: MIT (28-2); Wellesley (22-6)

- Location: Cambridge, Mass. (Rockwell Cage)

- The Lead: Top-seeded MIT defeated No. 3 Wellesley College, 25-23, 25-15, 25-21, to capture its second straight and sixth overall NEWMAC Women's Volleyball Championship on Sunday afternoon. With the win, the Engineers will be making their 19th appearance in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. Junior Carly Silvernale (Bellevue, Wash.) was named the tournament Most Outstanding Player after generating 36 digs, including 28 in MIT's five-set semifinal victory over Wheaton College.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- In a back-and-forth opening set that produced nine ties and three lead changes, a kill by junior Abby Bertics (La Jolla, Calif.) gave MIT a 21-17 lead. A kill from Darina Postupaka kicked off a 6-1 spurt as a hitting error put Wellesley in front, 23-22. A hitting error evened the score and resulted in a timeout by the Blue. Once action resumed, senior Clare Farley (La Jolla, Calif.) earned a pair of aces to give the Engineers a 25-23 win.

- MIT picked up the first four points of the second stanza but Wellesley battled back, closing the gap to 10-8 after Lauren Gedney's kill. A pair of errors in addition to a kill by senior Lisette Tellez (Miami, Fla.) gave the Engineers some breathing room, which prompted the Blue to use a timeout. Coming out of the break, Wellesley recorded kills by Nikki Jensen and Yasmine Reece to trim the deficit to 14-10. This was as close as it would get as MIT put together an 11-5 run to finish off the set.

- The Engineers gradually established a 13-9 lead in the third set. The Blue capitalized on several MIT miscues along with a block by Reece and Michelle Li to eventually tie the set at 14. Kills by Bertics and Tellez sandwiched a Wellesley hitting error, helping the Engineers inch out to a 17-14 lead. After an exchange of points, the Blue used a hitting error and kills from Samantha Ostenso and Gedney to come within 20-19. A kill by senior Alli Davanzo (Saint Johns, Fla.) coupled with back-to-back setting errors reestablished MIT's small cushion but a serving error moved the scored to 23-20. The Engineers replied with a kill from Bertics to reach match point, however, Reece kept Wellesley alive with a kill of her own. On the ensuing rally, Bertics produced another kill to capture the title.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Bertics led all players with 15 kills and added three blocks as freshman Andie Maloney (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) tallied 25 assists and nine digs. Farley registered nine digs and three aces while sophomore Madison Lee (Hillsborough, Calif.) and Silvernale both collected eight digs. Junior Carly Staub (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.) paced MIT with a match-high five blocks.

- Reece and Gedney both generated 12 kills for Wellesley while Reece added four blocks. Li totaled 32 assists and three blocks as Samantha Hoang and Meghan Shoop generated 10 and seven digs, respectively.

UP NEXT:

- MIT will learn about the location and its opponent in the upcoming NCAA Tournament during the selection show on Monday, Nov. 6 at 12:30 p.m. on NCAA.com.

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