Nelson Guides Men's Volleyball to 3-1 Win at Rivier

Nelson Guides Men's Volleyball to 3-1 Win at Rivier

THE BASICS:

Score: MIT 3, Rivier University 1 (21-25, 25-12, 27-25, 25-16)

Records: MIT (5-0); Rivier University (0-4)

Location: Nashua, N.H. (Muldoon Gymnasium)

The Lead: Powered by a match-high and season-high 16 kills from junior Thomas Nelson (San Ramon, Calif.) the MIT men's volleyball team defeated Rivier University in a non-conference matchup on Wednesday night in New Hampshire. The Engineers improved to 5-0 this season as MIT took the match by set scores of 21-25, 25-12, 27-25, 25-16.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- The opening set featured nine ties with the final one coming at 17-17 after first-year Tommy Ogeka (Manorville, N.Y.) registered his second kill of the set. Rivier outscored MIT 8-4 to close the stanza as the Raiders used four kills, three errors by the Engineers and a service ace via Jack Normandin to take the 1-0 lead in the match.

- Trailing 8-7 in the second set, MIT went on a 14-3 run which included a 7-0 spurt when Nelson held serve to take the 21-10 lead. The run was highlighted by three service aces and three kills by Nelson. With the score at 21-10, the Engineers used a kill by Ogeka, a kill by senior Skyler Kaufman (Needham, Mass.) and three Rivier errors to win the second, 25-12, and knot the match up at 1-1.

- MIT and Rivier went back and forth in the third set until the Raiders took a 23-21 lead on a kill by Normandin late in the stanza. The Engineers scored two straight points on a pair of errors by the Raiders to tie the set at 23-23. The set was even at both 24-24 and 25-25 before MIT scored the final two points on a service error by Rivier and a service ace by senior Yize Dong (Moraga, Calif.)

- Leading 6-5 in the fourth, MIT went on a 5-1 run powered by two kills by Nelson and a kill by sophomore Nathan Wang (Saratoga, Calif.) to extend its advantage to 11-6. The Engineers never looked back and secured the match with runs of 4-0 and 7-2 to win the set 25-15 and the match 3-1.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Three Engineers posted double-digit kills including 16 from Nelson, 11 from Ogeka and ten from Kaufman. Nelson also tallied a career-high six service aces, while Dong dished out 39 assists in the match. Nelson's six service aces tied the single match program record for most in a four set match as the last student-athlete to accomplish this feat was Bob Aspell againt Elms College on March 1, 2006.

- Defensively, junior Colton Stearns (Los Altos Hills, Calif.) registered a career-high 15 digs while Nelson added 10 of his own to his stat line tonight. Sophomore Cole Linnus (Wellington, Fla.) and Kaufman each also added one solo block a piece in the winning effort for the Engineers.

- MIT held statistical advantages in nearly every statistical category tonight including kills (52-44), hitting percentage (.343-.220), assists (50-41), service aces (11-5) and digs (50-40). 

- With the win tonight, the Engineers evened up the all-time series with the Raiders as in 26 matches both teams are 13-13.

UP NEXT:

- MIT will open play in the United Volleyball Conference (UVC) next weekend on the road as the Engineers will take on NYU on Friday, November 8 at 6:00 pm and No. 2 Stevens on Saturday, February 9 at 11:00 am.  

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