Ogeka Leads Men's Volleyball Past Baruch, 3-1

Courtesy of DSPics.com
Courtesy of DSPics.com

THE BASICS:

Score: MIT 3, Baruch College 1 (29-31, 25-17, 25-16, 25-16)

Records: MIT (4-0); Baruch College (1-3)

Location: Providence, R.I. (Wildcat Center)

The Lead: A career-high 17 kills from first-year Tommy Ogeka (Manorville, N.Y.) guided the MIT men's volleyball team to a four-set win over Baruch College on the final day of the 2019 Johnson & Wales Tip-Off Tournament. The Engineers topped the Bearcats, 29-31, 25-17, 25-16, 25-16 to improve to 4-0 on the season.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- The first set featured 12 ties, five lead changes and saw both teams hit well over .400. After a kill by MIT junior Colton Stearns (Los Altos Hills, Calif.) tied the match for the final time at 29-29, back-to-back kills from Baruch's Nicholas Godnio gave the Bearcats the opening set by a score of 31-29. The Engineers had their largest lead of the opening stanza sit at five points which came for the last time at 15-10 before the Bearcats went on a set changing 9-0 run to take the 19-15 lead.

- MIT bounced back in the second set as the Engineers opened by scoring ten of the first 13 points for the 10-3 advantage. The set-opening run featured a trio of kills by Ogeka as well as solo kills by sophomore Cole Linnus (Wellington, Fla.), junior Thomas Nelson (San Ramon, Calif.) and senior Skyler Kaufman (Needham, Mass.). Leading 22-16 late in the stanza, a kill from Nelson a service ace by sophomore Nathan Wang (Saratoga, Calif.) and a kill via senior Sam Bockman (Oceanside, Calif.) tied the match up at 1-1 as MIT secured the second set, 25-17.

- The Engineers scored the first five points of the third set thanks to a kill and ace by Nelson, a kill by Wang and two errors by the Bearcats. MIT led by as many as eight on three occasions, but Baruch cut the deficit to just three midway through the stanza at 15-12. A 10-4 run over the second half of the set that was powered by kills from five different student-athletes gave MIT the third set 25-16 and a 2-1 lead in the match.

- MIT took home the first two points of the fourth set on a pair of attack errors and never looked back. Ogeka led the way for the Engineers with three kills and four digs in the final stanza and one final kill from first-year Brett Allen (San Jose, Calif.) gave the Engineers a 25-16 fourth set and the match 3-1.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- The Engineers hit .362 (66-20-127) over the four sets, while the Bearcats were able to hit just .142 (42-26-113) in today's match. MIT held the advantage in assists (62-40), service aces (7-5), digs (42-32), solo blocks (4-2) and total blocks (10-8).

- In addition to Ogeka's career and season-high 17 kills, Kaufman added a season-high 13 kills on 20 swings and Nelson posted nine kills on 21 attempts to guide MIT's offensive attack. 

- Senior setter Yize Dong (Moraga, Calif.) dished out 58 assists, defensively Nelson led the way for MIT with 14 digs and Kaufman tallied three solo blocks and two block assists this morning for the Engineers.

- Today's matchup marked the first meeting between MIT and Baruch since 2013 and the Engineers now hold a 9-3 advantage in those 12 contests. These two teams will meet again in two weeks in another neutral match, however this one will be played at Stevens in Hoboken, N.J. on February 9 at 1:00 pm.

UP NEXT:

- MIT continues its season-opening road trip with a match at Rivier University on Wednesday, January 30 at 7:00 pm. 

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