CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In the first United Volleyball Conference (UVC) match in program history, the MIT men's volleyball team defeated Bard College, 25-12, 25-6, 25-13, on Monday night. With the win, the nationally-ranked No. 12 Engineers improved to 3-0 on the year and 1-0 in the league while the Raptors dipped to 1-4 overall and 0-1 in the UVC.
In the first set, MIT raced out to a 7-1 lead but Bard battled back, capitalizing on a pair of errors and two kills from sophomore Alex Adams (Fire Island, N.Y.) to help it narrow the gap to 9-5. The Engineers responded with a 15-6 run as a serving error resulted in set point. A strike by sophomore Daniel Gagne (East Longmeadow, Mass.) extended the frame for the Raptors; however, a quick hit from senior Paul Syta (Fairport, N.Y.) ended the set for the Cardinal and Gray.
MIT once again created a comfortable margin as it led 11-3 in the second set. A kill by Bard senior Billy Williams (Livingston, N.J.) resulted in an exchange of points that moved the score to 13-6. The Engineers responded with back-to-back kills by freshman Martin Krasuski (Aurora, Ill.), helping them close out the stanza with 12 unanswered points. Junior Andrew Busse (Mount Prospect, Ill.) was at the service line for the final 11 points as his 10th attempt was an ace that brought up set point.
The Raptors claimed a 3-2 edge in the final frame on a kill by sophomore Jesse Small (Brookline, Mass.). MIT replied with a strike from freshman Sean Kropp (Fairless Hills, Pa.) that sparked an 11-2 run. Following another kill from Small, the match became a back-and-forth affair until the Engineers put together a 7-1 spurt to establish a 23-9 advantage. Bard picked up three of the next four points but its late rally was thwarted by a kill from junior Chris Omahan (Mount Vernon, Ill.).
Krasuski finished with a team-high seven kills and added five digs for the hosts. Junior Bradley Gross (Centreville, Va.) and Omahan both posted six kills while Gross added two blocks. Syta tallied 11 assists, seven digs, and four kills as senior Evan Wang (Saratoga, Calif.) dished out 22 assists. Sophomore Brendan Chang (Laytonsville, Md.) collected seven digs, followed by five from freshman Kenny Siebert (St. Louis, Mo.). Busse and junior Alex Klein (San Diego, Calif.) both registered two blocks while Busse tacked on four kills.
Williams recorded a match-high eight kills to go along with four digs for the Raptors. Small contributed four kills and four digs as senior Henry Kasiske (Los Angeles, Calif.) totaled 16 assists, seven digs, and an ace. Adams rounded out the squad with four digs.
Next up for MIT will be a home match against crosstown rival Harvard University on Saturday, Feb. 1. Bard, meanwhile, will return to Massachusetts on Wednesday, Jan. 29 for a non-conference tilt at Elms College.