#11 MIT Falls to #6 Vassar and #15 Juniata

Sophomore Skyler Kaufman
Sophomore Skyler Kaufman

THE BASICS:

- Scores:

#6 Vassar College 3, #11 MIT 0 (25-19, 26-24, 27-25)

#15 Juniata College 3, #11 MIT 2 (25-21, 23-25, 20-25, 25-21, 15-12)

- Records: MIT (17-5, 2-1 UVC); Vassar (14-6, 3-0 UVC); Juniata (11-6)

- Location: Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (Kenyon Hall)

- The Lead: The nationally-ranked No. 11 MIT men's volleyball team fell to No. 6 Vassar College, 25-19, 26-24, 27-25, in a United Volleyball Conference match on Saturday. Later in the day, the Engineers dropped a tough 25-21, 23-25, 20-25, 25-21, 15-12 decision to No. 15 Juniata College.

HOW IT HAPPENED – MATCH ONE vs. #6 Vassar:

- The first set was a back and forth battle as there were 14 ties and six lead changes. Deadlocked at 16, Vassar rattled off five straight points which fueled a 9-3 set-ending run.

- Tied at 14 in the second set, the Brewers put together a 10-5 run to reach set point. MIT responded with five straight points as an ace by sophomore Jacob Gasparich (New Lenox, Ill.) evened the score at 24. The comeback attempt was thwarted due to a Vassar kill and a hitting error by the Engineers.

- In the third set, MIT gradually built a 14-8 lead which later shifted to 19-15. Vassar picked up the next three points but the Engineers increased their cushion to 22-19. The Brewers countered with a 5-1 spurt to claim match point. A serving error tied the score at 24; however, an exchange of points followed until a kill gave Vassar the come-from-behind win.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- MIT senior Martin Krasuski (Aurora, Ill.) and sophomore Skyler Kaufman (Needham, Mass.) both produced a match-high 12 kills. Krasuski also contributed six digs and two blocks while Kaufman, who hit .550 percent, added two blocks. Junior Tavish Smith (Laguna Beach, Calif.) chipped in nine kills as sophomore Yize Dong (Moraga, Calif.) tallied 33 assists, 11 digs, and two blocks. Senior Jordan Lucier (Torrance, Calif.) rounded out the squad with nine digs.

HOW IT HAPPENED – MATCH TWO vs. #15 Juniata:

- Juniata jumped out to a 9-3 lead in the opening set but MIT closed the gap to 11-10 on a Kaufman kill. The Eagles responded with a 7-2 run to create some breathing room. The Engineers eventually cut their deficit in half (21-18) courtesy of another kill by Kaufman. An exchange of points followed to wrap up the set.

- Trailing 19-17 in the second stanza, MIT mounted a 7-2 run, getting set point on a serving error. Another serving miscue along with a kill extended the frame for Juniata but a kill by Dong secured the win.

- The Engineers jumped out to an 11-4 lead in the third set; however, the Eagles battled back to even the score at 14. MIT responded with a 10-5 run, reaching set point on a hitting error. A kill kept Juniata alive but a serving error clinched the victory.

- The Cardinal and Gray scored the first six points of the fourth frame, which were matched by the Eagles. MIT gradually went up 11-7 but Juniata replied with a 5-1 burst to create the first of four ties, the last at 18. Kills by Smith and sophomore Steven Timberman (Merrick, N.Y.) sandwiched an Eagles' hitting error to give the Engineers a slight edge. Juniata countered with seven unanswered points to force a fifth set.

- MIT inched out to a 4-2 lead in the deciding set but Juniata responded with a 10-2 run to go ahead for good. A pair of Kaufman kills cut the Engineers' deficit in half (12-10). A serving error resulted in both squads trading points with the Eagles capitalizing on a kill to win the match.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Smith racked up a career-high 21 kills and added two blocks as Kaufman tallied 15 kills, a .619 hitting performance, two aces, and two blocks. Dong registered 42 assists and seven digs while Lucier and senior Suyash Fulay (Wexford, Pa.) collected 15 and nine digs, respectively.

UP NEXT:

- MIT continues UVC play on Saturday, March 11 when it hosts Penn State – Behrend and No. 4 Stevens Institute of Technology in a tri-match starting at 11:00 a.m.

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