#13 Engineers Split UVC Tri-Match with Penn State-Behrend and #4 Stevens

Junior Tavish Smith
Junior Tavish Smith

THE BASICS:

- Scores:

#13 MIT 3, Penn State – Behrend 0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-18)

#4 Stevens Institute of Technology 3, #13 MIT 1 (25-20, 25-16, 22-25, 25-19)

- Records: MIT (18-6, 3-2 UVC); Penn State - Behrend (6-10, 0-4 UVC); Stevens (20-2, 3-2 UVC)

- Location: Cambridge, Mass. (Rockwell Cage)

- The Lead: In its return to United Volleyball Conference (UVC) action on Saturday, the nationally-ranked No. 13 MIT men's volleyball team swept Penn State – Behrend, 25-19, 25-19, 25-18, but fell to No. 4 Stevens Institute of Technology, 25-20, 25-16, 22-25, 25-19.

HOW IT HAPPENED – MATCH ONE vs. Penn State - Behrend:

- MIT gradually established a 17-9 lead after an ace by junior Andrew Hall (Lynnfield, Mass.). Penn State – Behrend chipped away at the deficit, coming within 22-17 courtesy of a hitting error by the Engineers. A serving miscue along with a block by Hall and junior Tavish Smith (Laguna Beach, Calif.) gave MIT set point. However, a pair of errors kept the Lions alive until a kill from Smith secured the win.

- Trailing 11-7 in the second stanza, Penn State – Behrend picked up the next four points as Tyler Hermann's kill evened the score. A pair of errors in addition to a block by Smith, senior Martin Krasuski (Aurora, Ill.) and sophomore Skyler Kaufman (Needham, Mass.) created some breathing room. An exchange of points followed, moving the score to 17-15. The Engineers countered with a 4-1 spurt before eventually capturing a 25-19 win.

- The third set was a back-and-forth affair as there were six ties and five lead changes. A kill by Cody Geis put the Lions in front, 17-16, but the hosts responded with a 9-1 run to record the come-from-behind win.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Krasuski led all players with 11 kills and three aces as Smith posted 10 kills and three blocks. Kaufman bolstered the front row with seven kills and three blocks while sophomore Yize Dong (Moraga, Calif.) tallied 34 assists, nine digs, three blocks, and two aces. Senior Jordan Lucier (Torrance, Calif.) collected a match-high 13 digs, followed by 11 from freshman Thomas Nelson (San Ramon, Calif.).

- Trenton Munk paced Penn State – Behrend's balanced attack with seven kills, a .357 hitting performance, and added two blocks. Hermann finished with five kills and 12 digs as Robert McMaster totaled 10 digs. Calvin Nowick and Anthony Sprentz shared setting duties, dishing out 12 and 11 assists, respectively.

HOW IT HAPPENED – MATCH TWO vs. #4 Stevens:

- A block by Kaufman and Smith brought MIT within 13-12 in the first set but Stevens replied with a 7-3 run. The Engineers battled back, closing the gap to three on two occasions, the last at 24-21 on a hitting error. The comeback bid would be denied courtesy of Gabe Shankweiler's kill.

- The Ducks gradually established a 21-9 advantage in the second set en route to a 25-16 victory.

- MIT inched out to a 16-11 lead and maintained a small cushion throughout the third set. Stevens fought off set point twice but a serving error gave the Engineers a 25-22 win.

- The Ducks recorded five of the first six points of the fourth set before eventually going up 12-6 on a serving error. MIT managed to close the gap to three on five occasions, the final time at 22-19 after a Stevens hitting miscue. The Ducks responded with back-to-back kills from Dylan DeBoer and a strike by David Lehman to close out the match.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Krasuski and Smith both notched 11 kills while Krasuski contributed two blocks. Kaufman earned two aces and two blocks as Lucier racked up 14 digs. Dong distributed 37 assists for the Engineers.

- Shankweiler amassed a match-high 18 kills to go along with a .389 hitting performance, seven digs, and three blocks. Lehman produced 15 kills, seven digs, and five blocks as DeBoer registered 11 kills and nine digs. Thomas Burrell generated six blocks while Jacob Patterson dished out 52 assists.

UP NEXT:

- All three teams take on non-conference foes in their next outings. On Tuesday, March 14 MIT will travel to No. 10 Wentworth Institute of Technology while Penn State – Behrend will host Thiel College. Stevens returns to action on Wednesday, March 22 with a trip to Kean University.

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