MIT Stuns No. 10 Newbury, 3-1

March 5, 2009

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Two days after having its 11-match winning streak snapped, the MIT men’s volleyball team bounced back by upsetting nationally-ranked No. 10 Newbury College, 30-28, 23-30, 30-25, 30-27, in a North East Collegiate Volleyball Association (NECVA) New England Division battle on Thursday. The victory lifted the Engineers’ ledger to 17-10 on the year and 10-4 in conference play while the Nighthawks’ record dipped to 17-6 overall and 6-3 in New England Division action.

The early stages of the opening game were closely played as a kill by Mark Thomas brought Newbury within one point for the sixth time, the last at 11-10. MIT responded with a 10-5 spurt to gain some breathing room, but five straight points by the Nighthawks narrowed the gap to one (21-20). After exchanging several points, the Engineers picked up three out of the next four to extend their lead to 27-23. Following its own timeout, Newbury captured the next three points, the last on a strike by James Beck. A timeout by the Engineers helped stop the late rally as each side traded points to close out the set.

In the second stanza, the Nighthawks raced out to a 17-9 advantage. Behind strong serving by Michael Demyttenaere, the Cardinal and Gray narrowed the gap to three (17-14). Newbury used a timeout to end the run before both squads exchanged points, maintaining the slim margin. Fueled by miscues from the Engineers, the Nighthawks registered an 8-3 run that extended their lead to 27-19. MIT extended the frame by scoring four out of the next five points, however, a kill from Danny Kim and a hitting error gave the visitors the win.

Newbury carried the momentum into the third game as it gradually established an 11-7 edge. The Engineers responded by scoring six out of the next seven points, including three straight by Garrett Winther, to capture a 13-12 lead. Following six ties, the Nighthawks inched out to a 20-18 lead, capitalizing on a kill by Bryan McDermand and a hitting error. The Engineers battled back, mounting a 12-5 run to close out the set.

The final frame featured four ties and three lead changes until Newbury built an 18-14 advantage. MIT slowly chipped away at the deficit, as a block by Winther and Demyttenaere evened the contest at 21. The Engineers extended the run which resulted in a 27-23 lead. Coming out of their own timeout, the Nighthawks tallied four out of the next five points as a strike by McDermand narrowed the gap to one (28-27). The Cardinal and Gray responded by using its final timeout in an attempt to stop Newbury’s momentum. The move proved to be successful as a kill by Scott Pollom set up match point before a hitting miscue sealed the victory.

Eric Reuland had a solid outing for the Engineers, finishing with 17 kills, 14 digs, two blocks, and two aces. Demyttenaere, Pollom, and Winther each finished with 13 kills as Demyttenaere added four blocks. Eugene Jang collected eight digs while Jeremy Velazquez posted seven digs. Tim Lee dished out 52 assists for MIT.

Thomas compiled a match-high 24 kills to go along with five blocks for the Nighthawks. McDermand registered 12 kills and 11 digs as Josh Aberly posted 13 digs and seven blocks. Michael Biuso amassed 23 digs while Matt Talamante distributed 51 assists.

Next up for the Engineers will be their own MIT Invitational slated for this weekend. Newbury will spend next week on the West Coast squaring off with Hope International University, California Baptist University, and Long Beach City College.