No. 9 Engineers Stun No. 1 Nazareth, Finish Third at Golden Flyer Invitational

Senior Jeremy Velazquez and junior Matt Hohenberger
Senior Jeremy Velazquez and junior Matt Hohenberger

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The nationally-ranked No. 9 MIT men's volleyball team defeated host and reigning national champion Nazareth College, 18-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-22, en route to a third place finish at the Golden Flyer Invitational held this past weekend. The Engineers topped Elmira College (17-25, 19-25, 25-22, 31-29, 16-14) and D'Youville College (25-22, 25-22, 25-19) but fell to No. 5 Juniata College (23-25, 25-18, 26-24, 25-19). Senior Jeremy Velazquez (Chelmsford, Mass.) and junior Matt Hohenberger (St. Louis, Mo.) represented the Cardinal and Gray on the all-tournament team.

In the five-set battle with Elmira, Hohenberger racked up 17 kills, a .407 hitting percentage, six blocks, five digs, and two aces. Senior David Thomas (Carlsbad, Calif.) registered nine kills, nine digs, four blocks, and two aces as freshman Alex Klein (San Diego, Calif.) posted nine kills, a .381 hitting performance, and four blocks. Freshman Chris Omahan (Mount Vernon, Ohio) totaled 12 digs and six kills while sophomore Paul Syta (Fairport, N.Y.) tallied 36 assists, eight digs, five kills, and three blocks.

Against D'Youville, sophomore Ken Siebert (St. Louis, Mo.) powered MIT with 17 kills, a .406 hitting percentage, four digs, two blocks, and two aces. Freshman Brad Gross (Centreville, Va.) contributed eight kills, a .368 hitting performance, two blocks, and an ace as Thomas notched seven kills, four digs, and three blocks. Klein chipped in seven kills, a .385 hitting percentage, and a block while junior Patrick Vatterott (St. Louis, Mo.) generated four digs, three blocks, and an ace. Syta amassed 33 assists, 12 digs, four aces, and three blocks as Velazquez and senior Daniel Sngiem (Long Beach, Calif.) both collected five digs.

In the Engineers' loss to Juniata, Siebert recorded 17 kills and one ace while Hohenberger tallied six kills, two blocks, and two aces. Vatterott and Thomas bolstered the attack with seven and four kills, respectively, as Velazquez led the defense with eight digs. Syta rounded out the squad with 36 assists and four digs.

In its finale with No. 1 Nazareth, Hohenberger paced MIT with 14 kills and a .357 hitting percentage. Thomas compiled 10 kills, six digs, two blocks, and an ace as Vatterott contributed eight kills and four digs. Klein bolstered the front row with five kills and four blocks while Sngiem earned two aces. Omahan posted eight digs as Velazquez added five of his own. Syta finished with 24 assists, four aces, four digs, and three blocks as sophomore Evan Wang (Saratoga, Calif.) distributed nine assists.

Next up for the Engineers (4-1) will be their home-opener on Tuesday, Jan. 31 against Endicott College.