Volleyball Win Streak Reaches Six as Zhong Sets Record For Aces

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Kelsey K. Cappelle ’11 sets up a textbook spike against UMass-Dartmouth on Tuesday night. The Engineers won the match (30-20, 30-25, 30-19).
Perry L. Hung

The MIT women’s volleyball team extended its winning streak to six after defeating New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference foe Worcester Polytechnic Institute 30-7, 30-7, 30-13 and University of Massachusetts Dartmouth 30-20, 30-15, 30-19 in a pair of matches on Tuesday night. In the conference nightcap, Rose Zhong ’08 tallied an Institute-record 13 aces, recording 10 in the opening game, and added a team-high 12 digs.

WPI (3-10, 0-3 NEWMAC) quickly established a three-point lead in the first game, but MIT (10-1, 3-0 NEWMAC) picked up the next two points and took the lead for good on back-to-back kills by Katherine C. Rowe ’10. MIT’s seven-point run ended on a service error, which brought WPI within three at 7-4. MIT captured the next point and followed it up with Zhong serving the next 19 points to extend the lead to 27-4.

MIT’s success at the service line continued in the second game as Lindsay E. Hunting ’09 served the first 14 points. WPI got on the board after a Tech hitting miscue, but it could not overcome the deficit as MIT cruised to victory.

In the third game, MIT moved ahead 4-0, but WPI narrowed the gap to two to make the score 5-3. MIT scored seven of the next eight points for its largest lead of the game at 12-4. However, WPI battled back and cut the margin to four at 14-10. MIT countered with a 16-3 run to close out the match.

Rowe was a force at the net, amassing 17 kills on 20 errorless attempts for a hitting percentage of .850, and led the way with three blocks. Jennifer Li ’11 chipped in eight kills, while Anna D. Dikina ’11 and Barden E. Cleeland ’10 notched four apiece. Cleeland added a pair of aces to her statistics line, and Lindsay E. Hunting ’09 registered seven digs and two aces. Carrie C. Buchanan ’08 tallied 10 digs, while Dikina posted five in one game. Through two games, Amanda J. Morris ’08 dished out 30 assists, and Cassy A. Piela ’11 capped the night with 11.

WPI’s Kate Woodman posted a match-high 14 digs, and Christina Grant paced the offense with three kills. Nikki Croteau finished the night with six assists.

In the Engineers’ non-conference match with UMass Dartmouth (3-6), Rowe and Cleeland each registered a hitting percentage of .391 as Rowe posted a match-high 12 kills and Cleeland tallied 11. Hunting notched six aces, followed by three from Buchanan and two each by Dikina, Morris, Zhong, Katrina M. Ellison ’10, and Li. Cleeland paced the blocking corps with three blocks, and Buchanan collected 11 digs. Morris totaled 26 assists and nine digs in two games as Ellison added seven digs. Piela distributed 11 assists in the third game.

Nazareth Cardoso paced UMass Dartmouth’s offense with six kills, while Aly Zagame picked up eight digs. Mellanie Staiger finished with 12 assists for the Corsairs.

MIT continues non-conference play this weekend when it hosts its 16-team, two-day invitational in Rockwell Cage. The tournament begins on Friday, Sept. 21, 2007 at 4 p.m.