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Volleyball Falls to #18 MIT in NCAA Second Round, 3-0

Volleyball Falls to #18 MIT in NCAA Second Round, 3-0


CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Haverford College women's volleyball team (24-6) saw its memorable 2021 season come to an end with a loss in the second round of the NCAA Division III Volleyball Championships, falling by a 3-0 final to the host No. 18 MIT Engineers (28-3). Set scores were 25-13, 25-14, 25-23. Dina Kosyagin tallied a match-high 14 kills, while Sara Hunsberger added 25 assists. Juliet Young notched 14 assists, while Taylor Jones, Jadyn Elliott, and Hunsberger each tallied a pair of blocks for the Fords. 

The Engineers began the first set on a 7-1 run, forcing Haverford into an early timeout. After the stoppage, it was another 8-0 stretch from the hosts to take a commanding 15-1 lead. The Fords battled back with five of the next six points, trimming the lead to just 16-6 and prompting a timeout from MIT. Elena Filograna notched a service ace and Kosyagin found the floor with a kill as the Fords found themselves down by just eight at 16-8. Young then made a heroic dig to set up Kosyagin for another kill at 17-9, and an attack error from the Engineers got the Fords back to within seven, but an 8-4 run down the stretch helped MIT pull away, clinching the set at 25-13. 

A 9-3 MIT run to begin the second set prompted a Haverford timeout, but a service ace from Isabel Schwam trimmed that lead down to five. A 5-1 MIT spurt put the hosts back in command up 16-6 before Kendall Otridge put a stop to that run with a kill. A block from Hunsberger and Taylor Jones trimmed the MIT lead to 17-9. Another 2-0 spurt for Haverford was punctuated with a Kosyagin kill, and Kosyagin again found the floor off of the block to trim the lead to 19-12 before MIT put its foot on the gas to take a 25-14 set victory. 

Haverford began the third set on a 7-3 run, frustrating the MIT offense as Hunsberger and Elliott teamed up for an early block before Elliott then teamed up with Kosyagin on a rejection. A kill from Otridge put the Fords up 8-4, but a 4-0 spurt for the Engineers tied things up at eight-all. A block from Otridge and Jones put the Fords up by two at 10-8, but again it was the hosts with an immediate answer. Koysagin's 10th and 11th kill of the night provided the next two points for Haverford, and a service error trimmed the MIT advantage to just one at 15-14. 

Abby Holland punched down a kill to tie the score at 16-16, as the two teams swapped points until Taylor Jones and Kosyagin notched kills in succession to give Haverford a 21-20 lead. MIT stepped up its offensive intensity down the stretch, erasing the Haverford lead to escape with the third set victory. The Fords hit a match-best .257 in that third stanza, committing just five errors. 

MIT advances to the Cambridge Regional final against Susquehanna at approximately 1 p.m. on Sunday as the program looks to secure its first bid to the Elite 8. The Fords are now 2-2 all-time against MIT, taking wins in 2008 and 2009 while the Engineers captured a head-to-head win at the Haverford Invitational in 2016 before Saturday's win. 

The loss concludes a historic season for Haverford, as the squad registered its most wins in a single season since the 2009 season and earned an NCAA tournament victory for the first time since 2014. The contest was the final match for five seniors (Filograna, Kosyagin, Hunsberger, Riley Outen, and Schwam) who overcame great adversity to reach the NCAA tournament in their final season.  The future of the program is certainly bright as the Fords as 10 players made their collegiate debuts this season, with a pair of All-Conference rookies in Juliet Young and Taylor Jones being recognized by for their stellar campaigns.