Engineers Defeat #5 Wentworth in Five Sets

Sophomore Yize Dong
Sophomore Yize Dong

THE BASICS:

- Score: MIT 3, #5 Wentworth Institute of Technology (25-27, 26-24, 25-17, 20-25, 15-6)

- Records: MIT (6-3); Wentworth (5-1)

- Location: Cambridge, Mass. (duPont Gymnasium)

- The Lead: The MIT men's volleyball team defeated nationally-ranked #5 Wentworth Institute of Technology, 25-27, 26-24, 25-17, 20-25, 15-6, in non-conference action on Tuesday evening. Junior Tavish Smith (Laguna Beach, Calif.) led all players with a career-high 21 kills to go along with seven digs for the Engineers.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- The opening set was a back-and-forth battle as it featured 16 ties and seven lead changes. A kill by freshman Thomas Nelson (San Ramon, Calif.) gave MIT set point at 24-23 but a block by Jake Reed and Mike Hansen along with a hitting error put Wentworth in front. Smith's kill tied the score at 25; however, a kill from Reed coupled with another hitting miscue secured the victory.

- The second stanza was another tight affair as there were 11 ties and six lead changes. Trailing 20-17, the Engineers generated a 6-3 spurt to knot things up. Kills by Reed and Nelson reestablished the deadlock until a kill from sophomore Skyler Kaufman (Needham, Mass.) and a Leopards' hitting error gave MIT a 26-24 win.

- The hosts inched out to a 7-2 lead in the third set and maintained a small cushion for most of the frame. A kill from Ollie Oshman brought Wentworth within 16-14, but MIT replied with a 9-3 run to close out the set.

- Tied at 11 in the fourth set, a pair of miscues by the Engineers gave the Leopards some breathing room before building a 21-16 lead courtesy of a block by Alex Potts and Oshman. MIT recorded the next four points with an ace from sophomore Yize Dong (Moraga, Calif.) bringing it within two. Wentworth countered with its own four-point burst, using back-to-back aces by Jon Roat to extend the match.

- The Engineers jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the fifth set. The visitors narrowed the gap to 6-3 after Sean Mullen's kill but this was as close as it would get as MIT mounted a 9-3 run to wrap up the win.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Nelson finished with a career-high 19 kills and added nine digs as Kaufman generated 14 kills, a .423 hitting performance, and six blocks. Dong tallied 53 assists, seven digs, three blocks, and two aces while seniors Suyash Fulay (Wexford, Pa.) and Jordan Lucier (Torrance, Calif.) both collected 11 digs.

- Reed paced Wentworth with 14 kills as Mullen racked up 11 kills, eight digs, and seven blocks. Oshman produced a match-high nine blocks to go along with seven kills while Potts totaled eight kills and six blocks. Augusto Rodriguez-Guerrios dished out 24 assists, followed by 17 from Collin Ritter. Mike Rogachefsky notched 10 digs as Roat earned three aces.

UP NEXT:

- Next up for MIT will be a trip to Mount Ida College on Thursday, Feb. 2. Wentworth, meanwhile, will host #3 Stevens Institute of Technology and Endicott College in a tri-match on Saturday, Feb. 4.

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