No. 3 Women’s Volleyball Falls to No. 6 Emerson in Five Sets in NEWMAC Quarterfinal

A photo of the women's volleyball team in a huddle
Photo by David Vapnek '23

THE BASICS:

- Score: No. 6 Emerson College 3, No. 3 MIT 2 (17-25, 21-25, 25-18, 25-23, 15-11)

- Records: MIT (24-7); Emerson (19-7)

- Location: Cambridge, Mass. (Rockwell Cage)

- The Lead: In the first postseason meeting between both programs, No. 6 seeded Emerson College rallied to defeat No. 3 MIT, 17-25, 21-25, 25-18, 25-23, 15-11, in the quarterfinals of the NEWMAC Women's Volleyball Tournament on Tuesday night.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- Set 1: After a tight start to the match, MIT capitalized on a kill from junior Emily Condon (Orange, Calif.) and a pair of hitting errors to take a 15-12 edge. Emerson battled back, coming within 17-16 following a hitting error. The Engineers responded with a kill by first-year Alyssa Unell (Scottsdale, Ariz.), which sparked an 8-1 set-ending run.

- Set 2: MIT jumped out to a 7-3 lead but the Lions replied with a 14-5 run. The Engineers countered with a 13-4 run as a kill by sophomore Julia Caravias (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) clinched the 25-21 win.

- Set 3: Emerson won the first four points of the set and maintained a small cushion en route to a 25-18 victory.

- Set 4: Knotted at eight, an MIT serving error kicked off an 8-3 run for the Lions that was capped by a Grace Tepper kill. The Engineers chipped away at the deficit, using a hitting error and a serving error to even the score at 22. A pair of miscues gave Emerson set point, however, a kill from senior Alexis Groark (Elwood, N.Y.) extended the frame. The Lions quickly responded with a kill by Albany Alexander to thwart the late rally.

- Set 5: After a back-and-forth start to the final frame, which featured five ties and a lead change, a hitting error gave Emerson an 8-7 edge at the changeover. MIT miscues increased the Lions' cushion to 10-7, but an exchange of points ensued as a Groark kill narrowed the gap to 12-10. Emerson countered with a block by Caroline Bond and Logan Steenbergen along with a Rebecca Polsky kill to reach match point. Another Groark strike kept the Engineers alive, however, a hitting error secured the win for the Lions.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Groark powered MIT with 22 kills as Condon and senior Shea Landeene (Phoenix, Ariz.) both finished with 10 kills and four blocks. Unell and Caravias bolstered the Engineers' attack with nine kills apiece.

- Junior Andie Maloney (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) totaled 52 assists and 10 digs while senior Madison Lee (Hillsborough, Calif.) collected a match-high 21 digs, followed by 16 from junior Francesca Macchiavello (Lexington, Ky.).

- Tepper led all players with 23 kills and added three blocks as Alexander notched 13 kills for Emerson.

- Bond tallied 41 assists, 15 digs, and four blocks while Anna Phillips posted 15 digs.

- The Lions, in their first NEWMAC Tournament appearance since joining the league in 2013, gave the Engineers their first conference tournament opening round loss in program history. Emerson also recorded its first victory against MIT in the nine meetings between both teams.

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