- Score: Cal Lutheran 3, MIT 1
- Records: MIT (13-6), Cal Lutheran (17-8)
- Location: Cambridge, Mass. (Rockwell Cage)
- The Lead: Despite taking the first set, the MIT men's volleyball team fell to Cal Lutheran in four sets, 3-1, by set scores of 23-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-11 in a non-conference match on Wednesday inside Rockwell Cage.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- After Skyler Kaufman (Needham, Mass.) tied the first set at 3-3, the Engineers went on a 4-0 run which featured three kills from Tavish Smith (Laguna Beach, Calif.) and a Cal Lutheran error to pull ahead 7-3. From that point on, MIT never trailed in the opening stanza and won it 25-23. Leading 19-14, Cal Lutheran scored four straight points on three MIT errors and a kill by Andrew Reina to pull within one, 19-18, but both teams traded points the rest of the way and a kill by Kaufman out of a timeout for the Engineers gave MIT the opening set, 25-23.
- In the second, Cal Lutheran jumped out to an early 5-1 lead and never looked back as the Kingsmen took set two, 25-20. Both teams almost went point for point the entire way after that set-opening run with the exception when MIT's Andrew Hall (Lynnfield, Mass.) and Smith registered back-to-back kills late in the set to cut the deficit to 21-17. Cal Lutheran paired a kill by Reina and an MIT error to get the final two points of the set to tie the match at one.
- Trailing 14-12 in the third, Cal Lutheran went on an 8-2 run to pull ahead 20-16 and never looked back to win the third, 25-12. The spurt featured two kills by Justin Dietrich, three MIT errors and single kills by Mike Campbell, Mason Mercer and Reina. The Engineers were able to cut Cal Lutheran's lead to two at 23-21 after a kill by Smith and an error by the visitors, but a kill from Reina and a block by Campbell gave Ca Lutheran the third, 25-21.
- The visitors put the match away in the fourth as Cal Lutheran went on a 10-3 set opening run. The seven point differential was as close as MIT would get as the Kingsmen took the fourth set, 25-13 and the match 3-1.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- MIT was led by Smith who posted 21 kills on 46 swings for a hitting percentage of .304, while Kaufman added 11 kills to the effort. Junior Yize Dong (Moraga, Calif.) dished out 38 assists and sophomore Thomas Nelson (San Ramon, Calif.) added 14 digs for the Engineers tonight.
- Cal Lutheran had four student-athletes with double-digit kills led by 15 from Reina. Mercer posted 11 kills, while Dietrich and Patrick Rowe both had 10 kills apiece. Defensively, Rowe totaled 12 digs and as a team Cal Lutheran had three solo blocks and 26 block assists.
- Cal Lutheran hit .283 compared to MIT's .138 in tonight's match, while the Kingsmen edged the Engineers in kills (56-45), assists (52-43) and digs (42-34).
- MIT travels to Elmira College for its final United Volleyball Conference (UVC) crossover weekend of the season. The Engineers are still alive for a berth into the postseason tournament pending results from the weekend. MIT will take on Bard College on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and then play host and No. 15 Elmira on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.