No. 12 Men's Volleyball Begins 2018 With Wins Over Emmanuel & Alvernia

No. 12 Men's Volleyball Begins 2018 With Wins Over Emmanuel & Alvernia

THE BASICS:

- Scores:

No. 12 MIT 3, Emmanuel College 0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-13)
No. 12 MIT 3, Alvernia University 1 (26-24, 25-19, 15-25, 25-21)

- Records: No. 12 MIT (2-0), Emmanuel College (0-2), Alvernia University (1-1) 

- Location: Boston, Mass. (Andy Yosinoff Court)

- The Lead: The No. 12 ranked MIT men's volleyball team opened the 2018 season with victories over Emmanuel College and Alvernia University in a non-conference tri-match on Saturday afternoon in Boston. The Engineers opened the day by sweeping the Saints by a score of 25-21, 25-17, 25-13 and then followed it up with a four-set win against the Crusaders by a score of 26-24, 25-19, 15-25, 25-21.

HOW IT HAPPENED vs. EMMANUEL:

- The opening set was played point for point by both teams until the Engineers pulled away for its largest lead of five points at 17-12 after a kill by junior Skyler Kaufman (Needham, Mass.). Emmanuel battled back and eventually tied set one at 20-20 as the Saints scored three straight points thanks to two kills by Alex Smith and an MIT attack error. A kill and an ace by senior Tavish Smith (Laguna Beach, Calif.) gave the Engineers a 22-20 lead and a service error, as well as a pair of assisted blocks, gave MIT set one, 25-21. 

- In set two, MIT had an 11-6 lead before Emmanuel rattled off four straight points to get within two at 11-10, which marked the closest the Saints would get to the Engineers lead. MIT answered with three straight points of its own on a kill by Smith and two Emmanuel errors to extend its lead to 14-10. With the set at 18-16 in favor of the Cardinal and Gray, MIT registered seven of the final nine points to take the second set, 25-17. Over the run, the Engineers got three kills by Kaufman, one kill and an ace by freshman Nathan Wang (Saratoga, Calif.) as well as three errors by the Saints. 

- MIT hit a match-best .391 (10 kills on 23 attacks) in set three to secure the sweep. Leading 16-12, the Engineers put together a 9-1 run for the victory. Over that stretch, MIT got one kill by Wang and one by Kaufman as the remaining seven points came via Emmanuel errors for the win.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS vs. EMMANUEL:

- Kaufman hit .600 with a team-high nine kills, while junior Yize Dong (Moraga, Calif.) paced the Engineers with 24 assists and added nine digs. Additionally, sophomore Thomas Nelson (San Ramon, Calif.) tallied a game-high 19 digs and handed out seven assists of his own.

- As a team, MIT led Emmanuel in every statistical category which included advantages in kills (32-26), hitting percentage (.225-.080), assists (32-26), service aces (5-4), digs (46-41) and blocks (7-2).

HOW IT HAPPENED vs. ALVERNIA: 

- Even at 24-24, MIT got back-to-back kills by freshman Andrew Callahan (Western Springs, Ill.) on feeds by sophomore Michael Kulinski (New Lenox, Ill.) to take the opening set by a 26-24 score. During set one, MIT had a lead of seven points three times (17-10, 18-11, 20-13), but each time Emmanuel climbed back into it eventually tying it at 24 on kills via Ralph Lunati III and Collin Welteroth. 

- The second set featured, eight ties the latest one coming with the score even at 13-13 before MIT went on a 12-6 run to jump out to the 2-0 lead. That spurt by the Engineers featured two kills by Callahan and two kills via Wang before Kaufman and Smith put the set away with back-to-back kills of their own to win set two, 25-19. In set two, MIT hit .476 (13 kills on 21 attacks) compared to Alvernia's .235 hitting percentage to go up 2-0 in the second match of the day.

- After MIT got the opening point of set three, Alvernia got a kill by Spencer Matthews and a service ace by Welteroth and never again relinquished the lead as the Crusaders forced a fourth set with two 5-0 runs and won the third set, 25-15.

- In the fourth, MIT and Alvernia battled back-and-forth until the score was even at 19-19, the set's 13th tie. Wang's ninth kill of the match got the Engineers even with the Crusaders at that score. The Engineers ended the set and the match on a 6-2 run thanks to two kills by Kaufman and four attack errors by Alvernia. Kaufman also posted two blocks, which were assisted by Wang and Dong to win the set, 25-21, and the match 3-1.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS vs. ALVERNIA: 

- MIT had three student-athletes with double-digit kills led by Kaufman with 15. Smith added 12 kills and Callahan posted 11 of his own to pace the Engineers offensive attack. Dong dished out 34 assists and registered 11 digs, while Kulinski totaled 13 assists and Nelson notched a team-high 15 digs.

- The Engineers led the Crusaders in kills (51-45), assists (49-44), digs (51-32) and hitting percentage (.273-.210), while Alvernia led the match in service aces (13-10) and blocks (9.5-5).

UP NEXT:

- The No. 12 Engineers open their home slate of games with a non-conference match against Regis College on Tuesday, January 23 at 6:00 p.m 

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