Sept. 6, 2006
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - MIT defeated UMass-Boston, 30-12, 30-17, 30-13, and Endicott College, 30-17, 30-21, 30-22, in its women's volleyball home opener on Wednesday. With the wins, the Engineers improved to 5-0, while the Beacons and Gulls fell to 1-4 and 0-5, respectively.
UMass-Boston capitalized on early hitting miscues by MIT in the opening game, developing a 4-2 advantage. The Engineers notched the next two points before the Beacons took what proved to be their last lead of the frame (5-4). Following a UMass-Boston service error, Tech tallied six unanswered points behind Barden Cleeland's serve. The Beacons narrowed the gap to five (13-8), but MIT responded by doubling its margin.
In the second frame, UMass-Boston once again established a 4-2 lead. The Engineers went on an 8-0 run as Cleeland commanded the service line. The Beacons' next point resulted in their smallest deficit of the game at 10-5. Tech maintained a single-digit advantage until Carrie Buchanan served the final five points. The early stages of the third game were closely played, with MIT holding a 7-6 edge. Like the previous games, rookie serving extended the Engineers' lead. Katie Rowe helped propel Tech on a 9-0 run as it cruised to the win.
MIT's Frances Rogoz posted a match-high 10 kills to go along with two aces while Amanda Morris dished out 34 assists. Alex May contributed nine kills and seven digs as Briana Stephenson and Cleeland each totaled seven kills. Cleeland led all players with four aces while Cathy Melnikow recorded three aces on five service attempts in the last game. Ellen Sojka totaled five kills and three blocks as Carrie Buchanan collected 10 digs and two aces. Lindsay Hunting tallied eight digs while Katie Rowe registered two aces.
Tatyana Budantsev paced UMass-Boston's offense with four kills while Megan MacAuley totaled three kills, four digs, and two aces. Denise Hill also contributed three kills and four digs to go along with one solo block. Randle Stock distributed seven assists as Kate White recorded a team-high five digs.
In its second match of the evening, MIT established 14-point leads (21-7 and 23-9) in the first two games. Endicott did not give up as it narrowed the margin and prevented the Engineers from converting game-point on their first attempts. Both squads traded points to open the final stanza, but the Gulls went on to establish a 5-3 advantage, their first of the match. Tech recorded 11 of the next 13 points, resulting in a 14-7 lead. Endicott picked up the following three points, but it was as close as it would get for the visitors. MIT maintained its small cushion until it went up 24-14. The Gulls generated a pair of three-point runs, but they could not overcome the deficit.
May had a solid outing, posting a team-high five blocks and six aces to go along with nine digs and seven kills on 18 errorless attempts. Rogoz recorded another 10-kill performance and added three blocks while Stephenson totaled six kills with a .333 hitting percentage. Cleeland contributed four blocks as Morris tallied 30 assists, seven digs, and three aces. Buchanan notched 10 digs and five aces while Rose Zhong and Hunting each collected nine digs. Zhong also registered four aces for the Engineers.
Steph Wiese led the Gulls with seven kills as Brittany Nolan earned four aces and 23 digs. Meghan Hall distributed 18 assists while Beth Dow totaled two assisted blocks.
This weekend, MIT will travel to Allentown, Pa. to compete in the Muhlenberg College Invitational while UMass-Boston will be at the Plymouth State University Invitational. Endicott will host a one-day tournament on Saturday, Sept. 9.