CAMBRIDGE, MA- The Wheaton College women's volleyball team saw its five-match winning streak come to an end Tuesday night at regionally-ranked Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), as the Lyons suffered a 3-0 (18-25, 10-25, 20-25) setback in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play at Rockwell Cage.
Wheaton slipped to 10-9 overall and 1-4 in league play, while the Engineers, who stand eighth in the region according to the New England Women's Volleyball Association (NEWVA), won for the sixth consecutive time to move to 17-4 and 5-0.
Senior Lauren Kraus' (Westboro, MA/Westboro) five kills moved her one shy of becoming the sixth Lyon in program history to reach 1,000 career kills. Sophomore Miranda Howitt (San Francisco, CA/International) led the way with 11 kills to go alongside six digs.
Junior Becca Rose (Sudbury, MA/Lincoln-Sudbury Regional) provided 16 assists and six digs, sophomore Emily Davisson (Carpinteria, CA/Laguna Blanca School) accounted for 12 digs and a trio of service aces, and junior Kristen Hunt (Milford, CT/Jonathan Law) contributed eight digs.
For MIT, senior Alex May (Des Moines, IA/Roosevelt) had 11 kills, and sophomore Kelly Schulte (Riverside, CA/Ramona) tallied seven. Freshman Alyssa Rothman (Plainview, NY/Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy) finished with 30 assists and eight digs, and junior Anna Dikina (Skokie, IL/Niles North) compiled nine digs and six aces.
After falling behind by a 4-1 count in the opening frame, the Lyons rallied to even the contest at 11. MIT responded with an 11-5 run before a back-row hit from Howitt coupled with a Hunt ace brought Wheaton within 22-18. However, the Engineers scored the next three points.
The Lyons fought back from an early deficit in the second set to knot the score at eight, but the hosts countered with a set-ending 17-2 run. In the finale, the Blue and White narrowed its gap to 13-12 on kills by Kraus and Rose in addition to an MIT miscue. A Davisson ace evened the set at 16, but a late 5-0 Engineer run put the contest out of reach.
Wheaton steps out of the conference this Saturday to compete in the Beacon Invitational at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. The first of three matches begins against the hosts at 12:00 p.m., followed by Babson College at 2:00 p.m. and Massachusetts Maritime Academy at 4:00 p.m. New England's top-ranked team, the Beacons are receiving national votes.