Emmanuel College Defeats Men's Volleyball, 3-1

Photo by Gil Talbot
Photo by Gil Talbot

THE BASICS:

Scores: Emmanuel College 3, MIT 1 (25-23, 25-21, 22-25, 25-23)

Records: MIT (11-4); Emmanuel College (8-6)

Location: Cambridge, Mass. (Rockwell Cage)

The Lead: The MIT men's volleyball team suffered a 3-1 non-conference loss to Emmanuel College on Wednesday night. The Engineers fell by set scores of 25-23, 25-21, 22-25, 25-23 in a tightly contested match.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- The first set featured seven ties and a pair of lead changes as visiting Emmanuel hit .229 to win the first set by a close 25-23 score. The Saints trailed by as many as four after a kill by Thomas Nelson (San Ramon, Calif.) gave the Engineers a 17-13 lead. Emmanuel, however, climbed back into the set with an 8-2 that gave the visitors a 21-19 advantage. An assisted block by John Carroll and Seamus McDonagh paired with service errors by each team gave Emmanuel a 25-23 first set victory. 

- Trailing 6-4, MIT went on a 5-1 run to go ahead 9-7 early in the second stanza. The early run featured a solo kill and an ace by Skyler Kaufman (Needham, Mass.), kills by Bradley Albright (Burnt Hills, N.Y.) and Cole Linnus (Wellington, Fla.) as well as one error by Emmanuel. With MIT ahead 20-19 after a service error by the Saints, the visitors went on a 5-1 set ending run to take the second 25-21 and take a huge 2-0 advantage in the match. Three errors by the Engineers paired with a kill by Mike Kokoros and a service ace by Erik English was the difference in the set ending run.

- MIT trailed 11-7 early in the third stanza but rattled off an 11-3 run to retake the lead at 18-14. The run featured three kills by Troy Oliveira (San Diego, Calif.), two kills by Albright and Jacob Gasparich (New Lenox, Ill.) as well as a kill and an ace by Kaufman. The Engineers led by a score of 23-19 and traded points with the Saints until the score read 24-21 in favor of MIT. After Emmanuel forced the hosts to call a timeout, a kill by Gasparich gave the Engineers a 25-22 third set victory. MIT hit .256 in the third compared to Emmanuel's .160 to force a fourth set. 

- Coming out of a timeout down 22-20, MIT managed to tie the score at 23-23 on two kills by Albright and an Emmanuel service error. However, the Saints scored the final two points of the match on a kill by English and an MIT error to win the fourth set 25-23 and the match 3-1. 

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- MIT was led by Kaufman, who posted a team-high 13 kills and a hitting percentage of .522. Brett Allen (San Jose, Calif.), Albright and Gasparich all added seven kills, while Tommy Ogeka (Manorville, N.Y.) posted six kills in the effort for the Engineers. Emmanuel had three student-athletes with double-digit kills including English (14), Kokoros (13) and Justyn Schueler (12). 

- Defensively, MIT libero Colton Stearns (Los Altos Hills, Calif.) tallied a team-high nine digs, while offensively Yize Dong (Moraga, Calif.) dished out 29 assists leaving him 44 shy of 3,000 for his career. Emmanuel's English added 16 digs to his game to close the match with a double-double.

- Emmanuel held statistical advantages in hitting percentage (.250-.185) and digs (58-45), while MIT led in kills (53-49), assists (48-46) and solo blocks (2-1).

- This marks Emmanuel's first win over MIT since the 2013 season. The Engineers still lead in the all-time series 23-7 dating back to 2003. 

UP NEXT:

- MIT will host a pair United Volleyball Conference (UVC) matches on Saturday, March 2 as the Engineers will play Nazareth College at noon and St. John Fisher College at 2:30 pm.

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