Bears Fall in Regular Season Finale
NEW LONDON, Conn.--Freshman Megan Gebhard had a match-high 13 kills to go with 11 digs while senior Kristine Bunker hit .647 and finished with 11 kills leading MIT to a 3-0 win over Coast Guard to spoil the Bears Senior Day in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) game, the regular season finale for both teams.
MIT improves to 21-10 overall and finishes NEWMAC play with a 7-3 record. They will be the fourth-seed and host fifth-seeded Smith in a NEWMAC tournament first round game on Tuesday. Coast Guard drops to 21-8 overall and 5-5 in NEWMAC play.
The sixth-seeded Bears will play at third-seeded Babson in the first round on Tuesday night. Babson beat Coast Guard 3-2 in New London during the regular season. The Bears have advanced to the NEWMAC tournament semifinals for 12 straight seasons.
The Engineers broke a 13-13 tie by running off five straight points in the opening set to open an 18-13 lead en route to the 25-22 win.
In the second game, MIT jumped out to an 11-4 lead and cruised to the 25-14 win.
MIT again jumped out to a lead in the third set with a 10-4 lead and increased it to 17-7. The Bears made a run by scoring 11 of the next 15 points to cut the deficit to 21-18, but the Engineers held on for the 25-21 win.
Junior Nicole Gagnier had a match-high 39 assists while freshman Tori Wuthrich had a match-hgih 16 digs for MIT.
Senior Kelsey DePorto led the Bears with ten kills while classmate Samantha Marmolejo led the Bears with 14 digs. Sophomore Maggie Hine led the team with 24 assists.
"We didn't play our best today, but moving foward we are optimistic about our chances on Tuesday in the NEWMAC tournament," said Coast Guard head coach Aylene Ilkson. "We are excited for a clean slate entering tournament play."
Seniors Kelsey DePorto and Samantha Marmolejo, who have led the Bears to a record of 95-33 over the past four years, played the final home game of their careers this afternoon. They were part of a Bears team that won a share of the NEWMAC regular season championship and an ECAC Championship in 2011 after winning the NEWMAC tournament and a trip to the NCAA tournament in 2010 and they have played more games than anyone in Coast Guard history. DePorto has appeared in a school-record 454 games while Marmolejo is second all-time with 447 games played entering the NEWMAC tournament.