MIT 3, Lasell College 1 (23-25, 25-22, 25-11, 25-19)
MIT 3, No. 14 Eastern Mennonite University 2 (25-21, 19-25, 18-25, 25-23, 15-13)
- Records: MIT (12-2), Lasell (2-14), Eastern Mennonite (15-7)
- Location: Newton, Mass. (Lasell Athletic Center)
- The Lead: The MIT men's volleyball team extended its winning streak to four and defeated their third nationally-ranked opponent of the season as the Engineers took down Lasell College in four sets by set scores of 23-25, 25-22, 25-11, 25-19 and then defeated No. 14 Eastern Mennonite University in five sets by set scores of 25-21, 19-25, 18-25, 25-23, 15-13 in a tri-match in Newton, Mass. on Saturday.
HOW IT HAPPENED vs. Lasell:
- In the first set, MIT built its lead to five on two different occasions at 12-7 and 18-13, but Lasell went on a 4-0 run thanks to two kills by Scott Sterenberg, one kill by Janci Soto and an MIT error to pull with one, 18-17, before eventually tying the set at 19-19. Down 23-20, MIT called a timeout and proceeded to tie the set at 23-23 after a service ace from freshman Andrew Callahan (Western Springs, Ill.) and two errors from the Lasers. However, an MIT service error and a block by Aaron Waitekus and Nathan Gallo gave Lasell the first set, 25-23.
- The second set featured 15 ties with the last one coming at 22-22. A kill by senior Andrew Hall (Lynnfield, Mass.) gave MIT a 23-22 lead and two straight errors from Lasell secured a 25-22 second set win for the Engineers and tied the match at 1-1.
- MIT settled in during the third set as the Engineers led from start to finish and won the set by a 25-11 score. A kill by junior Yize Dong (Moraga, Cali.f) gave MIT a 10-8 lead and the Engineers outscored the Lasers 15-3 over the back half of the set to win it. Those 15 points came in the form of two kills from senior Tavish Smith (Laguna Beach, Calif.), two kills from junior Skyler Kaufman (Needham, Mass.), one kill from both Hall and freshman Nathan Wang (Saratoga, Calif.), a service ace from Callahan and eight errors from Lasell.
- In the fourth, MIT jumped out to an early 8-2 advantage thanks to two kills from Kaufman and one kill via Callahan and Wang. Lasell was able to cut the deficit to as little as two at 15-13, but a 5-1 run gave the Engineers enough distance to win the set 25-19 and the match 3-1.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS vs. Lasell:
- Kaufman led the way for the Engineers with 13 kills on 26 attempts, while Smith posted 12 kills and Hall registered nine of his own to power MIT's offensive attack. Dong dished out 21 assists and 16 tallied 16 assists of his own.
- Defensively, sophomore Thomas Nelson (San Ramon, Calif.) registered 13 digs and all 11 Engineers who played in today's first match tallied at least one dig. Callahan and Kaufman posted one solo block apiece, while Kaufman and sophomore Michael Kulinski (New Lenox, Ill.) both notched two block assists.
HOW IT HAPPENED vs. Eastern Mennonite:
- In the first set which featured nine ties, MIT used a 5-2 run leading 20-19 to take the opening set by a score of 25-21. Four errors by Eastern Mennonite paired with a kill by Kaufman and one kill by Smith gave the Engineers the opening set win.
- Eastern Mennonite answered in the second and led start to finish as the Royals won the set 25-19. The Royals built their largest lead of eight, 21-13, after an MIT attack error, but the Engineers tried to climb back into the set with a quick 4-0 spurt of their own. MIT used a kill by Callahan, an ace by Dong and two errors to cut the deficit back to four, 22-18, but Eastern Mennonite's Tim Callahan notched two kills to put the second set away, 25-19, in favor of the Royals.
- Very similar to the second, the third set was tied at one and two before Eastern Mennonite went on an 8-2 run to build its lead to 13-6. MIT went on a 6-3 run with kills by Kaufman, Wang and Smith to pull within four at 16-12, but the Royals maintained their edge all the way to the end to win the set 25-18.
- Tied at 20-20 late in the fourth, MIT scored the final five points before Eastern Mennonite could to win the set, 25-23, and send the match to a fifth set. The final push by MIT featured kills and blocks by Smith and Hall as well as an error by the Royals to make the final score of the fourth 25-23.
- The fifth and final set featured nine ties with the final one coming at 11-11. Eastern Mennonite took a 13-11 lead after a kill by William Ragland and a service ace from Callahan, which forced MIT to take a timeout. That timeout worked as MIT scored the set's final four points to win it 15-13. Freshman Evan Pasko (San Diego, Calif.) got the run started with a kill, and the match ended with back-to-back block assists by Kaufman and Dong as the Engineers claimed their third win over a nationally-ranked opponent.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS vs. Eastern Mennonite:
- Nelson registered 28 digs to end the tri-match with a total of 41 digs between the two matches. Additionally, his 28 digs were two shy of tying the program record of 30 set by Bob Moser back in 1999.
- Offensively, MIT had three student-athletes with double-digit kills as Kaufman registered 16, Smith had 14 and Callahan had 11.
- Dong also handed out 49 assists, which is a season-high for the junior.
- MIT returns to action on Tuesday, March 7 when the Engineers head to Endicott College for a non-conference match beginning at 6:00 p.m.
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