No. 2 Springfield Defeats Men's Volleyball, 3-1

No. 2 Springfield Defeats Men's Volleyball, 3-1

THE BASICS:

Scores: No. 2 Springfield College 3, MIT 1 (28-30, 25-19, 25-17, 25-13)

Records: MIT (12-6); No. 2 Springfield College (17-2)

Location: Cambridge, Mass. (Rockwell Cage)

The Lead: Despite winning a thrilling first set, 30-28, the MIT men's volleyball team fell to No. 2 nationally-ranked Springfield College in four sets this evening in a non-conference match inside Rockwell Cage.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- In the first set, MIT faced a six-point deficit at 18-12 before the Engineers went on a 12-6 run to tie the stanza up at 24 all. The stretch featured two kills apiece by first-year Troy Oliveira (San Diego, Calif.) and sophomores Cole Linnus (Wellington, Fla.) and Evan Pasko (San Diego, Calif.) as well as a solo block by senior Skyler Kaufman (Needham, Mass.). Prior to MIT claiming the set, 30-28, on a kill by junior Colton Stearns (Los Altos Hills, Calif.) and a service ace via sophomore Nathan Wang (Saratoga, Calif.), the score was even at 25, 26, 27 and 28. 

- The Engineers went ahead by a 10-8 score in the second after an assisted block from Stearns and Pasko, but that block was answered by a 14-6 run that gave Springfield a commanding 22-16 lead. MIT was able to pull its deficit to five at 24-19 after a kill by first-year Bradley Albright (Burnt Hills, N.Y.) and a Springfield error, but a service error by the Engineers secured the second stanza, 25-19, for the Pride.

- As they did in the second, the Engineers held a one-point advantage midway through the third at 14-13. However, the Pride went on a 6-0 run that MIT could not recover from. Late in the set, MIT received kills via Stearns and Oliveira, but Springfield took it 25-17 after a kill by Eli Irizarry Pares for the 2-1 advantage in the match.

- Springfield put the match away by opening the fourth set on a 7-0 run that featured four kills, two assisted blocks and a service ace. The Engineers were able to get the deficit to nine at 18-9, but the Pride closed the match on another dominant run sparked by kills from three different student-athletes to claim the fourth, 25-13, and the match 3-1.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Oliveira guided the Engineers offense with ten kills, while Kaufman added nine kills of his own. Defensively, junior Thomas Nelson (San Ramon, Calif.) tallied a match-high 15 digs, while Linnus notched a career-high three solo blocks in the effort for MIT. 

- Pares tallied a double-double for Springfield with his 11 kills and 10 digs, while Brennen Brandow led all student-athletes in the match with 17 kills for the Pride. Defensively, the Pride posted 24 assisted blocks on the day compared to the eight for the Engineers.

UP NEXT:

- MIT has nine day before its next match as the Engineers will travel to Elmira College on Friday, March 15 for its final regular season United Volleyball Conference (UVC) contest of the year. On that trip the Engineers will also play D'Youville and Rutgers-Newark on Saturday, March 16 at 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm, respectively.

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