CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Simmons College women's volleyball team was defeated by host Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 3-0 (25-20, 25-13, 25-19), and Tufts University, 3-0 (25-12, 25-10, 25-20), in a tri-match today at Rockwell Cage on the campus of MIT in Cambridge, Mass. The Sharks' three-match win streak ends as they fall to 3-12 on the season, while the Engineers, who are ranked sixth in the region by the New England Women's Volleyball Association and defeated the Jumbos, 3-0 (25-20, 26-24, 25-22), improve to 17-2 on the season. Tufts is now 9-7 after today's play.
MIT took a 12-6 lead in the opening set vs. Simmons, but a 10-4 run, including a pair of kills from first year middle blocker Emmee Ashby (Payson, Ariz.) knotted the frame at 16-16. The Engineers answered with five straight points and went on to win the set by five. MIT raced out to a 19-5 advantage in the second set and never looked back to take a 2-0 lead. The Sharks didn't quit, opening the third set with an 8-3 showing, fueled by a pair of aces from sophomore defensive specialist Kat Guillotte (New Bedford, Mass.) and two kills by Ashby. The Engineers reeled off eight unanswered points to take an 11-8 margin and led for the rest of the set to take the match.
Ashby led Simmons with nine kills along with a hitting percentage of .333. Registering the same hitting percentage, sophomore middle hitter Abby Hart (Westfield, Mass.) also added a solid effort with five kills and three blocks. Sophomore libero Alex Itasaka (Bradford, Mass.) earned 14 digs and an assist, while sophomore setter Andalyn Duke (Litchfield Park, Ariz.) dished out 19 assists and came up with four digs.
Tufts wasted no time taking control of the first set vs. the Sharks, taking a 23-9 lead before winning the frame. Simmons cut the second set deficit to 10-6, following an ace from junior defensive specialist Chanel Thomas (Phoenix, Ariz.), but the Jumbos put together a 10-2 stretch to take a 20-8 cushion, before winning the set. The Sharks showed its toughness again in the third set, taking a 10-4 lead to open the frame, paced by three kills from Ashby. Tufts came back with a 10-3, burst to pull to within 13-12, but Simmons held it off and increased its lead to 17-14. The Jumbos regrouped with six straight points to take a 20-17 lead, en-route to the match victory.
Ashby recorded another nine kills vs. Tufts, while Duke pitched in with 20 of the Sharks' 22 assists and Itasaka chipped in with a game-high 13 digs. First Year outside hitter Amber Peterson (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Hart also contributed with three kills apiece. Tufts was led by outside hitter Hayley Hopper who punched in a game-high 16 kills to go along with five digs and two blocks. Sophomore setter Kyra Baum had an all-around performance recording a game-high 39 assists, eight digs, three blocks and two kills.
Simmons will be back at it on Tuesday, October 7 as it visits Nashua N.H. to take on Great Northeast Athletic Conference foe Rivier University at 7:00 p.m.