Feb. 27, 2008
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - In a five-game thriller with NECVA New England Division foe Newbury College, the MIT emerged with a 30-27, 22-30, 19-30, 30-23, 19-17 victory on Tuesday night. The win ended the Engineers' two-match losing skid and lifted their record to 12-8 overall and 7-2 in conference play.
MIT opened the contest with five unanswered points and gradually established a 22-16 advantage. The nationally-ranked No. 15 Nighthawks tallied seven of the next eight points to knot the game at 23, but the rally ended there as the Engineers held on for the victory.
Newbury came out strong in the second stanza and maintained the lead throughout the game. MIT narrowed the gap to one (22-21), but a six-point service run by the Nighthawks helped power them to the win. Newbury carried the momentum into the next frame as it capitalized on miscues by the Engineers and cruised to a game three victory.
MIT bounced back in the fourth frame as it created a commanding lead on strong blocking and solid contributions from the bench. In the decisive fifth game, each side traded points until the Engineers scored three in a row for an 8-5 edge. The Nighthawks quickly evened the game with three straight blocks. MIT later found itself at game point twice (14-13 and 15-14) but Newbury extended the match with a pair of kills. The Nighthawks also reached match point twice (16-15 and 17-16), but miscues kept the Engineers alive as a strike by Garrett Winther clinched the win.
Malcolm Bean paced MIT with 17 kills and a .318 hitting percentage while Praveen Pamidimukkala added 13 kills and three blocks. Scott Pollom posted 11 kills, a .455 hitting performance, and eight blocks as Winther contributed 10 digs and seven kills. Michael Demyttenaere bolstered the attack with nine kills while Matthew Ng led the defense with a career-high 20 digs. Ryan Dean recorded his sixth career double-double on 46 assists and 13 digs.