Men's Volleyball Sweeps Sage & No. 14 Vassar in UVC Doubleheader

Photo by Gil Talbot
Photo by Gil Talbot

THE BASICS:

- Scores:

MIT 3, Sage Colleges 0 (25-17, 26-24, 25-23)
MIT 3, No. 14 Vassar College 0 (25-15, 25-20, 25-18)

- Records: MIT (8-2, 2-2 UVC); Sage (5-7, 0-1 UVC); No. 14 Vassar (6-4, 1-2 UVC)

- Location: Cambridge, Mass. (Rockwell Cage)

- The Lead: The MIT men's volleyball team earned a pair of three-set wins over Sage and No. 14 Vassar in United Volleyball Conference (UVC) action on Saturday afternoon in Rockwell Cage.

HOW IT HAPPENED vs. Sage:

- MIT jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the opening set after the Engineers received kills from Thomas Nelson (San Ramon, Calif.), Brett Allen (San Jose, Calif.) and Steven Timberman (Merrick, N.Y.). Late in the set, Sage cut its deficit to four at 18-14, but the Engineers rattled off six straight points to extend its lead to ten at 24-14. The 6-0 spurt featured kills from Allen and Evan Pasko (San Diego, Calif.), a solo block by Nelson and a service ace from Tommy Ogeka (Manorville, N.Y.). After Sage got a point back, Pasko swung for a kill and gave the Engineers the first set 25-15.

- The second set featured 14 ties with the final one coming at 24-24 as Sage's Mike Basile knotted the score up. A sage service error paired with a service ace by Nathan Wang (Saratoga, Calif.) secured the second set for the Engineers, 26-24. 

- MIT came out of a timeout late in the third and scored the next three points on a kill by Bradley Albright (Burnt Hills, N.Y.) and a pair of errors by the Gators. However, Sage battled back with four straight points of their own to cut the Engineers lead to one at 24-23. Allen lined up for a swing off a pass by Michael Kulinski (New Lenox, Ill.) and gave MIT the third set 25-23 and the match 3-0.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- MIT hit .212 with 38 kills in the first match of the day against Sage. The Engineers also held statistical advantages in assists (37-18), service aces (5-2), digs (32-21), solo blocks (3-1) and assisted blocks (15-13).

- Nelson led the Engineers with nine kills on 15 swings and also added an assist, one service ace, five digs, two solo blocks and five block assists. Timberman, Allen, and Albright all closed the opening match with five kills apiece. Kulinski dished out 31 assists, while libero Colton Stearns (Los Altos Hills, Calif.) registered a match-high 12 digs.

- With the win, MIT moved to 4-1 in the all-time series against Sage which dates back to 2013.

HOW IT HAPPENED vs. No. 14 Vassar: 

- After Vassar went ahead early in the first 3-1, MIT went on a 13-2 run which put the opening set out of reach. The dominant run featured two kills from both Nelson and Timberman, a service ace via Cole Linnus (Wellington, Fla.), an assisted block by Dong and Skyler Kaufman (Needham, Mass.), a kill from Kaufman and six errors by the Brewers. Late in the stanza, MIT rattled off another run but this time it was 6-2 to push its lead back to 11 at 24-13. A Vassar service error gave MIT the first, 25-15.

- The Engineers led from start to finish in the second set after jumping out to an 8-3 advantage on a kill by Nelson. Vassar never got any closer than four points to MIT as the Engineers closed out the second on another service error by the Brewers and won the set 25-20. 

- Trailing 12-11 in the third, MIT went on an 11-4 run to go back ahead 22-16. The run was sparked by a trio of kills by Nelson, two by Albright, a pair of assisted blocks and single kills via Kaufman and Timberman. After trading points, kills by Kaufman and Nelson put the third set away 25-18 and the match 3-0 in favor of the Engineers.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- MIT hit .343 in its match against Vassar which included a .519 clip in the third set as the Engineers swung for 16 kills and posted just two errors in the final stanza.

- Nelson tallied a match-high 13 assists and added four service aces and three digs to his stat line.  Kaufman added eight kills and three block assists, while Albright notched six kills and three digs of his own. 

- MIT held statistical advantages in hitting percentage (.343-.231), aces (7-2) and block assists (12-9).

UP NEXT:

- MIT will host Wentworth Institute of Technology in a non-conference match on Wednesday, February 20 at 7:00 pm.

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