CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – After suffering a pair of heartbreaking five-set losses to Endicott College earlier in the season, the newly nationally-ranked No. 13 MIT men's volleyball team picked up a crucial 30-21, 31-29, 30-23, NECVA New England Division win over the No. 6 Gulls on Wednesday night. The Engineers (22-7, 10-2) snapped the hosts' 12 match-winning streak and also gave them their first conference loss of the season.
Endicott established a 4-1 lead in the opening set, but MIT responded with a 16-6 run to go ahead for good. The Gulls cut their deficit to five on three occasions, the last at 25-20. The Engineers went on to score five of the next six points to close out the game.
The second stanza was a back-and-forth affair as it featured 19 ties and six lead changes. In addition, neither side led by more than three points. Trailing 27-26, back-to-back Matt Hohenberger kills and an Endicott hitting error put the Cardinal and Gray at set point. Strikes by A.J. Witkofsky and James Sliva extended the frame, but hits from Hohenberger and David Thomas sealed the set.
MIT jumped out to a 6-2 advantage, but the Gulls battled back to tie the score at 10. The Engineers recorded a 7-3 spurt which was followed by a trio of points from Endicott that brought it within one (17-16). MIT countered with an 8-3 run, but the Gulls replied with another three-point spree to close the gap to 25-22. The Engineers maintained control by recording five of the last six points down the stretch.
MIT featured a balanced attack and a team hitting percentage of .314. Thomas led the charge with 15 kills to go along with two blocks as Patrick Vatterott racked up 10 kills and six blocks. Hohenberger tallied 13 kills, four aces, and three blocks while Mike Demyttenaere posted seven kills and three blocks. Eric Reuland collected 11 digs as Garrett Winther totaled five digs, four kills, and two blocks. Jeremy Velazquez contributed five digs while Tim Lee totaled 41 assists and five digs.