POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – The MIT women's volleyball team posted a hard-fought 4-0 record and clinched first place at the Vassar College Invitational this past weekend. The Engineers outlasted Stevens Institute of Technology (25-22, 21-25, 25-20, 11-25, 15-12) and Wesleyan University (18-25, 25-19, 25-18, 25-21) on Friday before defeating the host Brewers (23-25, 23-25, 25-21, 25-18, 15-11) and Montclair State University (25-14, 25-23, 25-16) on Saturday. Junior Katie Spielbauer (Lakeview, Mich.) represented the Cardinal and Gray on the All-Tournament Team.
Junior Trinity Leonard (Mill Valley, Calif.) paced MIT's attack with 16 kills to go along with seven digs and a block against Stevens. Senior Kelly Schulte (Riverside, Calif.) tallied nine kills, three aces, three digs, and two blocks while fellow classmate Cecily Joujon-Roche (Laguna Hills, Calif.) totaled five kills, four blocks, three aces, and three digs. Spielbauer racked up 14 digs and six aces as senior Natasha Jensen (Columbia, Md.) chipped in six digs and two aces. Sophomore Jess Fessler (Shortsville, N.Y.) added four digs while junior Alyssa Rothman (Plainview, N.Y.) registered 34 assists and 12 digs.
Against Wesleyan, freshman Sarah Oberhelman (New Orleans, La.) led the way with 14 kills and a .375 hitting percentage. Schulte notched 10 kills, six digs, and three blocks while Joujon-Roche posted seven kills and three blocks. Sophomore Rachel Hunt (Arlington Heights, Ill.) contributed seven kills and two blocks as classmate Kristine Bunker (Falmouth, Mass.) earned four blocks. Spielbauer collected 13 digs and seven aces while Jensen picked up seven digs. Rothman finished with 33 assists and seven digs.
In MIT's come-from-behind victory over Vassar, Schulte totaled 10 kills, four digs, two blocks, and two aces while Leonard recorded 12 kills and five digs. Bunker posted six blocks and six kills as Joujon-Roche had six kills and three blocks. Spielbauer led the defense with 18 digs to go along with three aces while Jensen added seven digs and three aces. Sophomore Sharon Hao (San Jose, Calif.) compiled 17 assists, five digs, four kills, and two aces in two sets as freshman Nicole Gagnier (Atlanta, Ga.) amassed 17 assists, seven digs, three kills, three blocks, and two aces in three sets.
The Cardinal and Gray had a balanced outing in its sweep of Montclair State. In one set, freshman Kaitlin Ahlers (Colorado Springs, Colo.) notched five kills on seven errorless attempts for a .714 hitting percentage. Leonard contributed four kills, three digs, and two blocks as Joujon-Roche connected on three of her four swings and added a block in one set. Sophomore Tatiana Berger (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Hunt both had four kills while Oberhelman tacked on three kills and two blocks. Bunker totaled two blocks and two aces as Jensen picked up three digs and two kills. Fessler earned two aces while freshman Jody Fu (San Francisco, Calif.) gathered four digs. Gagnier dished out 19 assists as freshman Jenny Astrachan (Austin, Texas) tallied seven assists and three aces in one set. Spielbauer closed out the weekend with a career-high eight aces in addition to eight digs.
With an overall record of 8-0, the Engineers will kick off NEWMAC play on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at Mount Holyoke College.