Men's Volleyball Sweeps Its Way to MIT Invitational Title

Senior David Thomas and sophomore Ken Siebert
Senior David Thomas and sophomore Ken Siebert

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Nationally-ranked No. 5 MIT defeated No. 9 Rivier College, 25-16, 25-19, 25-22, en route to winning the championship of the MIT Men's Volleyball Invitational on Sunday afternoon. The Engineers also swept Emerson College (25-17, 25-22, 25-13), Stevenson University (25-22, 25-20, 25-13), and York College (N.Y.) (25-17, 25-23, 25-17) to capture their second consecutive title and their fifth overall in the eight-year history of the tournament. Sophomore Ken Siebert (St. Louis, Mo.) was selected to the all-tournament team while senior David Thomas (Carlsbad, Calif.) earned Tournament MVP honors for the second year in a row, becoming the first player to accomplish this feat.

Junior Matt Hohenberger (St. Louis, Mo.) powered MIT with 10 kills and a .750 hitting percentage in the opener with Emerson on Saturday. Freshman Brad Gross (Centreville, Va.) registered six kills and four digs as classmate Alex Klein (San Diego, Calif.) added five kills and two blocks. Thomas, junior Patrick Vatterott (St. Louis, Mo.), and freshman Chris Omahan (Mount Vernon, Ohio) each posted four kills while Thomas and Vatterott contributed three and two blocks, respectively. Freshman Andrew Busse (Mount Prospect, Ill.) generated four blocks in one set as senior Jeremy Velazquez (Chelmsford, Mass.) collected eight digs. Senior Daniel Sngiem (Long Beach, Calif.) bolstered the defense with four digs while Siebert earned two aces. Sophomores Evan Wang (Saratoga, Calif.) and Paul Syta (Fairport, N.Y.) both distributed 17 assists as Wang totaled six digs.

Against Stevenson, Hohenberger notched 11 kills, four blocks, and an ace while Siebert had 10 kills, a .435 hitting performance, and six digs. Klein recorded eight kills, a .471 hitting percentage, and two blocks as Thomas rounded out the attack with seven kills. Syta tallied 34 assists, nine digs, and two blocks while Vatterott finished with six digs, four kills, and two blocks. Velazquez amassed a team-high 13 digs as Sngiem chipped in four of his own.

Graduate-student Malcolm Bean (Rochester, N.Y.) led a balanced attack versus York with nine kills and a .471 hitting percentage to go along with two blocks and an ace. Gross recorded six kills, a .417 hitting performance, four digs, and two blocks as Klein totaled seven kills, a .400 hitting percentage, and four blocks. Wang and Thomas both earned three aces while Wang dished out 20 assists, followed by 10 from Syta. Velazquez led the way with nine digs as Omahan contributed four.

In the finale with Rivier, Siebert paced the Engineers with 15 kills, a .448 hitting performance, and three blocks. Hohenberger posted 14 kills and a .458 hitting effort while Klein had seven kills on nine errorless attempts in addition to three blocks. Syta compiled 36 assists, four digs, three blocks, three kills, and an ace as Vatterott registered three blocks. Thomas led the defense with eight digs followed by seven from Sngiem.

Next up for MIT (9-3) will be a trip to Elms College on Wednesday, Feb. 15.