CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The MIT men's volleyball team extended its winning streak to eight following a 25-15, 25-15, 25-16 victory over Elms College on Thursday night. Senior Kenny Siebert (St. Louis, Mo.) and junior Alex Klein (San Diego, Calif.) paced the Engineers' (13-2) balanced front row as they both registered seven kills and two blocks. Senior Bryson Rainey (Brookline, Mass.) generated a match-high 10 kills for the Blazers (4-9) while adding five digs and two blocks.
MIT recorded the first two points of the opening set, but a service error along with two assisted blocks from freshman Dervin Dimanche (Queens, N.Y.) put Elms in front. A block by Siebert and freshman Aaron Zalewski (Buffalo Grove, Ill.) helped the Engineers slowly pull away as they eventually led, 19-11, courtesy of a kill from junior Andrew Busse (Mount Prospect, Ill.). An exchange of points ensued until Siebert and Zalewski collaborated on another block to end the frame at 25-15.
The hosts raced out to an 8-3 advantage in the second set; however, miscues along with a Rainey strike narrowed the gap to two (8-6) for the Blazers. MIT responded with a 9-3 run to regain control of the frame but a kill by junior Angel Castro (Carolina, Puerto Rico) ended the rally and was followed by a block and kill from senior Kordel Latimer (Lynn, Mass.) which kept Elms within striking distance (17-12). A service error and an ace by Siebert increased the Engineers' cushion before both sides were plagued by miscues that moved the score to 24-14. Senior Paul Syta (Fairport, N.Y.) ended the exchange for MIT with an ace.
The early stages of the final frame were closely played as it featured six ties and three lead changes. The Blazers created a two-point edge (12-10) courtesy of a block by sophomore Cristian Arroyo (Chicopee, Mass.) and senior Kevin Welsh (Wilbraham, Mass.) in addition to an MIT hitting error. After a timeout by the Cardinal and Gray, freshman Martin Krasuski (Aurora, Ill.) posted a kill and ace to even the score; however, a Rainey kill kept the visitors in front. A service error knotted the set at 13 and was followed by a solo stop from freshman Sean Kropp (Fairless Hills, Pa.) that sparked an 11-3 match-ending run.
Krasuski notched four kills and four digs as freshman Narindra Peaks (Voorhees, N.J.) added four kills and two blocks for the Engineers. Syta generated 15 assists and two aces while senior Evan Wang (Saratoga, Calif.) dished out 10 assists. Sophomore Brendan Chang (Laytonsville, Md.) rounded out the squad with a match-high 12 digs as Zalewski earned two blocks.
Castro bolstered the Blazers' attack with seven kills as Latimer totaled five kills, four digs, and two blocks. Welsh racked up 22 assists, five digs, two blocks, and an ace while Dimanche and Arroyo both posted two blocks.
No. 6 MIT returns to action on Wednesday, March 4 at No. 3 Springfield College while Elms resumes New England Collegiate Conference play at Endicott College on Saturday, March 1.