#14 Engineers Defeat #12 Lasell in Five Sets

Freshman Thomas Nelson
Freshman Thomas Nelson

THE BASICS:

- Score: #14 MIT 3, #12 Lasell College 2 (25-12, 25-19, 16-25, 15-25, 15-11)

- Records: MIT (16-3); Lasell (16-3)

- Location: Cambridge, Mass. (Rockwell Cage)

- The Lead: The nationally-ranked #14 MIT men's volleyball team battled #12 Lasell College for a 25-12, 25-19, 16-25, 15-25, 15-11 victory on Thursday night. Junior Tavish Smith (Laguna Beach, Calif.) paced the Engineers with 15 kills while Jeffrey Vautrin powered the Lasers with 19 kills, nine digs, and four blocks.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- MIT scored the first four points of the opening set and then controlled the action as it went on to record a 25-12 win.

- The Engineers inched out to an 11-5 lead in the second stanza but Lasell responded with a 6-2 spurt, capped by a kill from Patrick McDonald. Kills by sophomores Steven Timberman (Merrick, N.Y.) and Skyler Kaufman (Needham, Mass.) gave MIT some breathing room before it pulled away for a 25-19 victory.

- Tied at four in the third set, the Lasers capitalized on an MIT hitting error, a Tristan Davis kill, and a pair of McDonald aces to go in front. The Engineers stayed close, narrowing the gap to three on five occasions, the last at 15-12 on a kill by senior Martin Krasuski (Aurora, Ill.). Lasell countered with a 10-4 run to wrap up the set.

- Deadlocked at eight in the fourth set, a kill by Davis ignited a 17-7 run which he bookended with a kill to force the decisive fifth set.

- MIT built a 4-1 lead in the final frame but the Lasers battled back, evening the score at seven courtesy of a block by Scott Sterenberg. A serving error gave the hosts the edge at the changeover; however, a kill by Vautrin along with a hitting miscue put Lasell in front, 9-8.

- A pair of errors along with freshman Thomas Nelson's (San Ramon, Calif.) ace gave the Engineers a small cushion. A kill by McDonald cut the Lasers' deficit in half and set off an exchange of points that moved the score to 12-11. The back and forth play was stopped by a Nelson kill in addition to a block by Kaufman and sophomore Yize Dong (Moraga, Calif.), which prompted a timeout by the visitors. Once action resumed, MIT captured the win on an ace by senior Suyash Fulay (Wexford, Pa.).

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Krasuski posted 12 kills, eight digs, and three blocks while Timberman bolstered the attack with 10 kills. Senior Jordan Lucier (Torrance, Calif.) generated 18 digs as Nelson finished with 15 digs and two aces. Dong and Kaufman both had three blocks while Dong dished out 47 assists.

- McDonald registered 14 kills, a .344 hitting performance, eight digs, three blocks, and both of the Lasers' aces. Jordan Aprea collected a match-high 19 digs as Sterenberg and Janci Soto both generated four blocks. Andy Henriquez rounded out the squad with 44 assists and two digs.

UP NEXT:

- MIT hits the road for a trip to local foe Emmanuel College on Tuesday, Feb. 28. Lasell, meanwhile, returns to action on Tuesday, March 7 with a home match against #1 Springfield College.

STAY CONNECTED:

For the latest on MIT Athletics, follow the Engineers via social media on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.