The University of Redlands women's volleyball team traveled to Cambridge, MA, this weekend to compete in the MIT Invitational. With a 3-1 showing, the Bulldogs tied for third place in the tournament standings that included 12 teams and were determined by win-loss records and sets won. After falling to the host institution, Redlands fired off three victories to already exceed the team's total number of wins from a year ago with this season's 7-1 start.
After providing 85 digs through the four matches, junior defensive specialistAbigail Hickman (Phoenix, AZ) represented Redlands on the seven-woman All-Tournament Team.
Redlands began the two-day tournament against MIT and struggled to find its rhythm en route to a 23-25, 19-25, 15-25 loss to the eventual champions of the weekend. Sophomore outside hitter Kaylee Burdick (Sun Valley, CA) paced the offense with 10 kills while also supplying nine digs in the loss.
Friday's competition concluded with a four-set win over Colby College (ME) by scores of 24-26, 25-17, 25-22, 25-15. Freshman middle hitter Sofia Olsson (Cupertino, CA) led the Bulldog attack with 14 kills, which complemented Burdick's 13-kill, 10-dig effort. Senior setter Ellie McLeod (Redlands, CA) continued to run the offense by distributing 41 assists. Hickman offered 22 digs to continue her strong showing.
On Saturday, Redlands gained another victory, with this one coming against Bates College (ME) by scores of 25-23, 24-26, 25-15, 25-23. After tallying 13 kills and 12 digs, Burdick provided her second double-double performance in as many matches. Senior outside hitter Addison Fonseca (Santa Cruz, CA) also provided offensive excellence with 11 kills, while McLeod recorded 42 assists. With tenacity and consistency, Hickman racked up 29 digs for the Maroon and Gray.
The MIT Invitational wrapped up for Redlands with its third-straight triumph, as the Bulldogs knocked off Wellesley College (MA) in a 25-20, 25-19, 14-25, 25-18 showing. Burdick's stellar play continued, as she registered 13 kills and 13 digs for the Maroon and Gray. Freshman middle hitter Sammi Tafoya (Granite Bay, CA) backed her with 10 kills, which came at an incredible clip of .667. McLeod capped off the solid tournament with a 40-assist showing, while Hickman notched 21 digs to finish with an average of 5.67 per set over the two days.
Redlands (7-1) is off to its hottest start since 2010, when the squad went 9-1 in its first 10 matches. The Bulldogs look forward to opening Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) action on Friday, September 16, when it hosts Occidental College in Currier Gym at 7 p.m.