CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In its first home match of the season, the nationally-ranked No. 6 MIT men's volleyball team defeated local foe Endicott College, 25-19, 26-24, 25-18, on Tuesday night. With the win, the Engineers improved to 5-1 on the year while head coach Paul Dill earned his 200th victory at the helm of the program. The Gulls, meanwhile, saw their ledger lower to 0-3 for the campaign.
MIT quickly established a 5-1 lead in the first set, but Endicott continued to attack and drew within one (8-7) courtesy of two hitting errors by the hosts. The Engineers responded with a 9-2 run to regain control of the frame; however, the Gulls generated a 6-2 spurt which narrowed the gap to four (19-15) on an ace by senior Jeremy Schlosser (Emmaus, Pa.). Back-to-back hits from freshman Chris Omahan (Mount Vernon, Ohio) ended the rally and propelled MIT to the win.
The Cardinal and Gray slowly inched out to a 13-8 advantage in the second stanza, but Endicott generated an 8-3 run to even the score at 16. Eight ties and four lead changes ensued as a kill by sophomore Travis Netherton (Waukegan, Ill.) knotted the set at 24. On its ensuing possession, junior Matt Hohenberger's (St. Louis, Mo.) kill put MIT in front while a hitting miscue clinched the victory.
Despite the setback, the Gulls carried the momentum into the third game as senior Joshua Bruno (Andover, Mass.) collaborated with junior Matt Devendorf (Glastonbury, Conn.) on a block and then Bruno added a kill. After a trio of ties, the Engineers strung together five consecutive points to go ahead, 10-6. Endicott stayed close for most of the set as it narrowed its deficit to three on six occasions, the last time at 21-18 on a strike from Netherton. MIT capitalized on errors by the visitors and a block from junior Patrick Vatterott (St. Louis, Mo.) and sophomore Ken Siebert (St. Louis, Mo.) to close out the match.
Omahan, Siebert, Hohenberger, and freshman Alex Klein (San Diego, Calif.) each registered nine kills to lead the Engineers' attack. Omahan added three blocks and an ace while Siebert tacked on six digs and an ace. Klein paced the squad with six blocks, followed by four from Vatterott and three by Hohenberger. Senior Jeremy Velazquez (Chelmsford, Mass.) collected six digs as sophomore Paul Syta (Fairport, N.Y.) totaled 34 assists and three blocks.
Bruno finished with eight kills for the Gulls while freshman Thomas Stoeckinger (Malibu, Calif.) contributed seven of his own. Schlosser and sophomore Carter Roche (Clifton Park, N.Y.) shared setting duties, distributing 19 and 10 assists, respectively. Slocum anchored the defense with 10 digs as Devendorf came up with a pair of solo blocks.
Next up for MIT will be a home match with cross-town rival Harvard University on Saturday, Feb. 4. Endicott returns to the court on Thursday, Feb. 9 when it hosts Newbury College in a New England Collegiate Conference tilt.