MIT Battles Nationally-Ranked Teams at Baruch Invitational

Senior Patrick Vatterott and sophomore Chris Omahan
Senior Patrick Vatterott and sophomore Chris Omahan

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Facing a full slate of nationally-ranked opponents at the Baruch College Invitational this past weekend, No. 15 MIT came away with a record of 2-2. The Engineers fell to No. 11 Elmira College, 25-20, 25-17, 25-21, but bounced back to defeat No. 4 Stevens Institute of Technology, 26-24, 25-21, 23-25, 25-23 on Saturday. The next day, MIT outlasted No. 12 Stevenson University, 25-21, 25-27, 25-17, 23-25, 15-9, and then dropped a 25-23, 22-25, 25-21, 23-25, 17-15 thriller to No. 14 Vassar College. Senior Matt Hohenberger (St. Louis, Mo.) represented the Cardinal and Gray on the all-tournament second team.

Junior Ken Siebert (St. Louis, Mo.) paced MIT with 11 kills to go along with six digs while Hohenberger posted eight kills, six digs, and an ace against Elmira. Senior Patrick Vatterott (St. Louis, Mo.) chipped in four kills as freshman Brendan Chang (Laytonsville, Md.) collected 13 digs. Junior Paul Syta (Fairport, N.Y.) tallied 23 assists, 10 digs, and two blocks.

Hohenberger racked up 21 kills, 10 digs, and two aces versus Stevens while Vatterott totaled 10 kills, a .421 hitting performance, and four blocks. Siebert notched 14 kills and seven digs as sophomore Andrew Busse (Mount Prospect, Ill.) chipped in three blocks. Syta registered 48 assists, seven digs, and five blocks while Chang and sophomore Chris Omahan (Mount Vernon, Ohio) rounded out the defense with 19 and seven digs, respectively.

In Sunday's first five-set battle, Hohenberger came away with 26 kills, a .360 hitting percentage, 10 digs, and three aces against Stevenson. Syta recorded 61 assists, 22 digs, and two blocks as Siebert produced 18 kills, a .366 hitting performance, and nine digs. Vatterott tacked on nine kills while Busse added seven kills and three blocks. Freshman Tavish Smith (Oceanside, Calif.) bolstered the front row with two blocks as Chang finished with 21 digs.

Against Vassar, Hohenberger generated 27 kills, a .321 hitting percentage, and 14 digs while Siebert had 14 kills, 10 digs, and three blocks. Busse posted 12 kills and a .611 hitting performance as Vatterott registered eight kills and six blocks. Syta tallied 56 assists, 14 digs, and seven kills while Chang gathered 19 digs.

MIT (11-8) returns to action on Wednesday, Feb. 27 when it hosts No. 1 Springfield College, the reigning national champion.