For the second year in a row, the MIT women’s volleyball team saw multiple players earn Capital One Academic All-America second-team honors as announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America on Dec. 10. Senior Kristine Bunker and junior Jenny Astrachan were tabbed for the first time, as MIT was the only institution to receive multiple awards.
The Engineers are the all-time Division III leader in producing Academic All-America players. The team ranks third across all NCAA divisions with 207 honors. In addition, the women’s volleyball program stands second with 19 selections, trailing only Nebraska.
Bunker led the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) in hitting percentage (.374), while ranking 15th in the country in the same category. She also finished fourth in the league in block assists (58), sixth in total blocks (69), eighth in solo blocks (11), ninth in blocks per set (0.60), and 10th in kills (272). In the MIT record book, Bunker placed fourth in blocks (350), fifth in hitting percentage (.320), and tied for sixth in career blocks per set (0.82). Majoring in mechanical engineering, she is a three-time NEWMAC academic all-conference honoree. Most recently, Bunker interned at the Saucony Human Performance and Innovation Lab where she collected and analyzed running motion capture to assess running gait and forces. She also designed a new footboard to standardize data collection for motion capture.
A two-time NEWMAC academic all-conference pick, Astrachan ranked fifth on the team in kills (137) and aces (30). An electrical engineering and computer science major, she was a software engineer intern at Google where she developed testing infrastructure for advertisements and worked on a system to cache and replay ads on search. As an intern at the University of Texas Applied Research Laboratories Advanced Technology Lab, Astrachan applied sonar research to the navigation of autonomous underwater vehicles. She is a member of the MIT Gordon Engineering Leadership program and has been inducted into the Tau Beta Pi (engineering) and Eta Kappa Nu (electrical engineering and computer science) honor societies.