Nov. 11, 2006
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Top-seeded U.S. Coast Guard Academy rallied in the fifth game to post a 30-28, 30-24, 30-32, 17-30, 15-12 win over No. 2 MIT in an all-NEWMAC NCAA Division III Women's Volleyball New England Regional Final on Saturday. The Bears (26-2) will meet up with Juniata College in the Elite Eight which will be held in Salem, Va., on Nov. 16. The Engineers (33-6) made their furthest trip in the NCAA Tournament since they lost the title game in 1984 while Coast Guard will be competing in its first national quarterfinal in any sport.
In the opening game, MIT built a 9-6 lead which was erased by a four-point run from Coast Guard. The Engineers responded by tallying 12 of the next 16 points for a 21-14 advantage. The Bears answered with a 10-1 run to take the lead for good and win the first game.
With the second stanza tied at six, a kill by Alex May sparked a scoring spurt that gave Tech an 11-6 lead. Following a service error, Coast Guard went on a run that evened the contest at 11. After trading points, MIT scored five consecutive points to go ahead, 17-12. Like the last game, the Bears continued to attack, outscoring the Engineers, 18-7, down the stretch.
Coast Guard carried the momentum into the third game as it established a 20-13 advantage. Tech chipped away at the deficit to narrow the margin to two (21-19). Following a Coast Guard timeout, the Bears won the next point but MIT took the next two to trail, 22-21. Coast Guard tacked on three consecutive points to force an MIT timeout. Coming out of the break, the Engineers went on a five-point run to go ahead, 26-25. The Bears evened the game and had a chance to regain the lead, but the potential go-ahead point was replayed due to an injury to an MIT player. The Engineers broke the tie and went up, 28-26. Coast Guard tallied the next three points to set-up match point. MIT denied the Bears the immediate victory by taking the next point. Coast Guard regained the lead (30-29), but the Engineers rattled off three unanswered points to deny the Bears a sweep.
MIT controlled the ball in the fourth frame as it raced out to a 20-6 lead. The scoring during the final stages of the game was evenly balanced, but Coast Guard could not avoid playing a decisive fifth game.
Both teams traded points to open the final frame until the Bears went ahead, 5-4. The alternating scoring continued until Coast Guard led at the changeover (8-6) and then extended its advantage to five. After a timeout by MIT, the Engineers regained serve on a service error, which sparked a run that cut their deficit to one (11-10). The Bears answered by taking the next three points, but their rally ended on a service error. Tech closed the gap to 14-12, but it would not be enough as the Engineers' last attack attempt sailed out of bounds.
May posted a match-high 29 kills to go along with a .323 hitting percentage and 12 digs for MIT. Katie Rowe recorded 16 kills as Frances Rogoz contributed 12. Briana Stephenson paced the blocking corps with six stops while Carrie Buchanan anchored the back row with 30 digs. Rose Zhong collected 23 digs as Lindsay Hunting finished with 13. Amanda Morris distributed 61 assists, setting an Institute record for assists in a season with 1,413, and notched 14 digs.
Nicole Gurr powered Coast Guard's attack with 27 kills while tallying 13 digs. Kimberly Jung registered a double-double with 28 digs and 16 kills while Corinne McCormack chipped in 18 kills. Christine Rostowfske totaled 59 assists and 14 digs while Megan Durbin and Leanna Minton both posted 12 digs.