Nov. 8, 2007
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Top-seeded and host MIT cruised to a 30-13, 30-6, 30-14 win over No. 8 Maine Maritime Academy in an NCAA Division III Women's Volleyball New England Regional match on Thursday. The Engineers (35-2) will face No. 4 Wellesley College at 7:00 p.m. on Friday in a rematch of last week's NEWMAC Championship. Making their first appearance at the NCAA Tournament, the Lady Mariners capped their season with a record of 19-6.
MIT opened the match with four straight points and eventually established a 10-4 advantage. With Carrie Buchanan at the service line, she extended the Engineers' margin by tallying four aces on six service attempts. The Cardinal and Gray continued to control play as it prevented Maine Maritime from posting back-to-back points for most of the game. The Lady Mariners capitalized on a trio of MIT miscues to bring the score to 22-9. Tech regrouped and closed out the game with an 8-4 run.
The Engineers were a force to be reckoned with at the service line in the second stanza as they racked up seven aces. A kill and two aces by Rose Zhong kicked off the second frame for MIT. Maine Maritime got on the board with a strike by Michelle Ferry, but the Engineers responded with a seven-point serving run from Katie Rowe that featured four aces. The Lady Mariners' Amy Young ended the run with a kill, making the score 10-2. This was as close as it would get as the Engineers rattled off 20 of the next 24 points.
In the final frame, a hitting miscue by MIT coupled with a kill from Ferry gave Maine Maritime its largest lead of the night. A strike by Jenny Li cut the Engineers' deficit in half, but Ferry capitalized on her next hitting attempt to preserve the two-point edge. On the ensuing serve, Barden Cleeland's kill ignited a 9-0 run that put MIT ahead for good. The Lady Mariners picked up back-to-back points to make the score 10-5, however, the Engineers countered with 9-3 spurt to give them their first double-digit advantage of the game. The deficit was too large for Maine Maritime to overcome as MIT maintained its margin to close out the contest.
The Engineers' attack featured four players with hitting percentages of at least .400. Zhong was the most efficient hitter as she totaled eight kills on 11-errorless swings (.727) while Rowe had eight kills with one error on 10 attempts (.700). Cleeland posted a team-high 10 kills (.571) as Li tacked on eight (.400). Zhong paced the defense with seven digs while Buchanan notched six digs and six aces. Rowe contributed five aces as Cleeland paced the blocking corps with two stops. Amanda Morris dished out 30 of MIT's 35 assists.
Ferry recorded a team-high five kills to go along with four digs. Casey Morey and Young each collected four digs as well, while Becca Allen distributed 11 assists.