Volleyball Falls to MIT and Framingham State

Photo by Keith Nordstrom
Photo by Keith Nordstrom

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Wheaton College volleyball team dropped both of its matches Saturday afternoon, starting with a 3-0 New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) contest against host MIT, before falling 3-1 to Framingham State. 

The Engineers (15-3; 6-0 NEWMAC) used a strong attacking presence to sweep the Lyons 25-20, 25-23, 25-20. MIT finished the match with a .330 attacking percentage, while the Lyons hit .172. 

The home team trailed just once in the set after Wheaton took a 2-1 lead with an ace by Nikita Selivan and a service error by the Engineers. MIT bounced back taking a quick 14-5 advantage with five straight kills by three different players. 

Wheaton pulled ahead early in the second set with Cathryn MacGregor picking up one of her three aces and a kill by Selivan. The Lyons continued to push the pace, taking a quick 7-3 advantage with Cameron Mercer and Becca Houghton getting in on the action. The lead would be short lived as the Engineers battled back into the contest with kills by Abby Bertics and Shea Landeene which were followed by back-to-back Lyon errors. The two sides battled back and forth down the stretch. With the set tied at 20-20, the Engineers found a way to take the lead for good. 

The final set started off as another back and forth with the two teams trading points early. Wheaton errors and solid hitting by MIT earned the lead for the Engineers and eventually the win. 

Claire Cansler led the Lyons with nine kills, four aces and three blocks. Selivan ended the match with six kills, MacGregor had five and Mercer and Allison Cox each finished with four. Houghton led the Lyons with 21 assists, while Stephanie Martin had a team-high 18 digs. 

Megan Gebhard led the Engineers with 14 kills, while Christina Liao had 34 assists, and Tori Wuthrich finished with 14 digs. 

Cansler once again paced the Lyons (8-11; 1-4 NEWMAC), this time leading the way with 15 kills to go with four aces. Cox ended the match with 10 kills and MacGregor chipped in eight. Mercer led the Lyons with four blocks, while Selivan had three. Houghton dished out 42 assists and Martin pulled up a team-high 23 digs. 

Alycia Rackliffe led Framingham State (11-5) with 13 kills, while teammate Julia Wan had 11. 

Wheaton won the opening set 25-20, before Framingham State rattled off three straight set wins (25-17, 25-23, 25-23). 

Selivan handed the Lyons the lead to start the opening set, but the two teams would go onto trade points and possession of the lead. It wasn't until a Cansler kill with the set deadlocked at 12-12 that the Lyons would take the lead for good. An ace by MacGregor ended the set for Wheaton. 

The Rams flew to a 4-0 lead in the second set. The Lyons would fight back into the game, but would never be able to take the lead away. The third set was a battle with both teams keeping each other within a point most of the way. With a 9-8 lead the Rams went on a 7-2 run to take a 16-10 advantage. Wheaton pulled within one, 22-23, on a Houghton ace, but Framingham State would have just enough left to earn the win. 

In what proved to be the final set, the Lyons started strong, taking a 4-2 lead on kills by Cox. The Rams responded with a 6-0 run to capture the lead. The set would see the score tied 11 times down the stretch. A kill by the Ram's Casie Thurber broke the final tie, 22-22, earning her team the lead for good. 

The Lyons return to the court on Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. in Emerson Gymnasium against Emerson College in a NEWMAC contest. 

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