- Score: MIT 3, North Central College 1 (25-21, 25-14, 26-28, 25-18)
- Records: MIT (1-0); North Central (0-1)
- Location: Cambridge, Mass. (Rockwell Cage)
- The Lead: The MIT men's volleyball team kicked off the 2017 season by defeating North Central College, 25-21, 25-14, 26-28, 25-18, in non-conference action on Friday night. The meeting was the first between both squads as the Cardinals are currently in their second year as a varsity program.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- MIT jumped out to an 8-3 lead in the opening set but North Central battled back, eventually tying the score at 17 on a kill by Nick Lilley. Two kills from junior Tavish Smith (Laguna Beach, Calif.) along with a hitting error by the Cardinals gave the Engineers some breathing room. However, the visitors stayed close as a serving error brought it within 21-20. MIT went on to record four of the final five points, capped by a kill from senior Martin Krasuski (Aurora, Ill.).
- In the second stanza the Engineers built an 7-3 advantage and maintained a comfortable cushion throughout as they registered a 25-14 victory.
- The third set was a back-and-forth affair as there were 15 ties and five lead changes. With the score knotted at 22, a kill by sophomore Yize Dong (Moraga, Calif.) and a North Central hitting error helped MIT capture set point. Following their own timeout, the Cardinals capitalized on a pair of miscues by the hosts to even the frame. A kill from sophomore Skyler Kaufman (Needham, Mass.) put the Engineers in front; however, an exchange of points ensued until a hitting error and a kill by Jacob Zemba helped North Central win the set at 28-26.
- Holding a 7-6 edge in the fourth frame, a kill by junior Andrew Hall (Lynnfield, Mass.) sparked a 10-3 run for MIT. The Cardinals gradually chipped away at the deficit as a block by Casey Hiller and Max Lawrence brought it within 22-17. A hitting error coupled with a kill from freshman Cameron Burnett (Solana Beach, Calif.) resulted in match point but a block by Lawrence, Hiller, and Jason Eslinger kept North Central alive. The Engineers responded with a kill from Kaufman to thwart a late rally.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Krasuski finished with a match-high 17 kills to go along with 10 digs while Kaufman totaled 15 kills and a .700 hitting performance. Smith produced 14 kills and two blocks as Dong notched 51 asists and 11 digs. Senior Jordan Lucier (Torrance, Calif.) led all players with 13 digs.
- Lilley paced the Cardinals with 10 kills and two aces while Jake Braceros bolstered the balanced attack with seven kills. Michael Trunzo and Raymond Kraus dished out 17 and 13 assists, respectively, as Kevin Messer collected 12 digs. North Central racked up 13.5 blocks, led by Hiller with five and four apiece from Eslinger, Lawrence, and Justin Curtis.
- Both squads are back in action on Saturday, Jan. 21. MIT will host a tri-match with Emmanuel College and Sage Colleges while North Central will visit Johnson & Wales University.