CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In a battle of undefeated North East Collegiate Volleyball Association (NECVA) New England Division foes, host MIT emerged with a 25-23, 25-18, 25-17 victory over Endicott College on Tuesday night. The nationally-ranked No. 7 Engineers raised their record to 11-2 on the year and 7-0 in conference play while the Gulls dipped to 5-4 overall and 3-1 in the New England Division.
MIT scored the first three points of the match and later held an 8-4 lead. Endicott countered with a 6-1 spurt which put it in front for a majority of the frame. Five ties ensued until a strike by Ken Siebert ended a long rally that saw multiple players hitting the floor and gave the Engineers a 21-20 edge. Billy Evans' kill increased the Cardinal and Gray's margin which prompted a timeout by the Gulls. After the break, both sides traded points as another Siebert blast closed the set.
Endicott jumped out to a 6-3 advantage in the second game, but MIT responded with a 9-3 run to go ahead. The Gulls capitalized on several miscues by the Engineers, tying the set at 13. An Endicott service error followed by an ace from Siebert gave the hosts some breathing room. However, both squads exchanged serves as a kill from Jeremy Siden brought the Gulls within 17-16. MIT countered by registering an 8-2 run to wrap up the set.
The visitors built a 4-1 lead in the final frame, but it was quickly erased by a 10-1 run by the Engineers. Trailing 17-10, a pair of blocks and an ace narrowed Endicott's deficit to three and resulted in an MIT timeout. Brandon Chadwick collaborated with Matt Devendorf and Zeke Kubisch for the blocks while Siden earned the ace.
When action resumed, a serving miscue along with a block by Garrett Winther and Patrick Vatterott extended the Engineers' advantage to 19-13. The Gulls picked up the next two points courtesy of a blocking error and a solo stop from Travis Netherton. MIT responded by scoring six of the final eight points to clinch the victory.
Siebert finished with a match-high 18 kills to go along with four digs. Matt Hohenberger posted 10 kills and three digs as Evans added five kills. Vatterott totaled six kills and five blocks while Winther contributed five kills, five assists, and four blocks. Tim Lee compiled 37 assists and 11 digs as Jeremy Velazquez collected six digs. Caine Jette led the way with two aces.
Siden and Kubisch both notched seven kills for the Gulls as Netherton chipped in six of his own. Chadwick racked up six blocks while Andrew Slocum recorded six digs.
Both squads return to action on Saturday, Feb. 12 at the Endicott College Invitational.