Men's Volleyball Defeats Emerson in Four Sets

Photo by Gil Talbot
Photo by Gil Talbot

THE BASICS:

Score: MIT 3, Emerson College 1 (25-17, 25-17, 18-25, 25-19)


Records: MIT (16-6); Emerson College (8-5)

Location: Cambridge, Mass. (Rockwell Cage)

The Lead: The MIT men's volleyball team ran its win streak to four with a victory at home over non-conference foe Emerson College. The Engineers won the match by set scores of 25-17, 25-17, 18-25, 25-19.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- Emerson scored the first point of the match, but MIT answered immediately by scoring seven of the next eight points to go ahead 7-2. The opening stretch featured two kills by Tommy Ogeka (Manorville, N.Y.), one kill by Jacob Gasparich (New Lenox, Ill.), an ace by Bradley Albright (Burnt Hills, N.Y.) and three errors by the Lions. Emerson got as close as two points at 11-9, but the Engineers extended their lead and closed the set on a 3-0 run with kills by Troy Oliveira (San Diego, Calif.) and Steven Timberman (Merrick, N.Y.) as well as an Emerson error as MIT won the first set, 25-17. 

- Trailing 12-10 in the second, MIT went on a 10-3 run to go ahead by a 20-15 score thanks to two kills by Nathan Wang (Saratoga, Calif.), two kills by Thomas Nelson (San Ramon, Calif.), two aces by Gasparich, one kill by Yize Dong (Moraga, Calif.) and an assisted block by Sam Bockman (Oceanside, Calif.) and Wang. Back-to-back kills by Nelson and Oliveira gave MIT the second, 25-17. In the second set alone, Nelson hit .556 with six kills on nine swings. 

- Emerson was able to claim its first set victory over MIT since 2015 as the Lions took it by a 25-18 score. The Lions were able to go ahead permanently after trailing 3-2 as they went on a 6-0 run forcing the Engineers to call a timeout. MIT climbed back within three at 15-12 after a kill by Gasparich and two errors by Emerson however, the Lions answered with an 8-2 run to extend their lead to 23-14. With the Lions needing just one point to clinch the set, MIT scored three straight on a kill by Oliveira, a service error and an assisted block by Oliveira, Bockman and Michael Kulinski (New Lenox, Ill.). An Engineers error gave the Lions the third set, 25-18.

- MIT led by just one in the fourth stanza at 11-10, before going on a 7-3 run to extend their advantage out to five at 18-13. The spurt featured back-to-back aces by Gasparich, a solo block by Kaufman and three errors by Emerson. Late in the set, a decisive 5-2 run by the Engineers gave MIT the set, 25-19, and the match 3-1. 

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- MIT was led offensively by Gasparich, who hit .421 with a career-high ten kills and added four service aces to his stat line. The rest of the offense was balanced as Oliveira posted seven kills, while Ogeka and Nelson both registered six kills. Kulinski added to his night with a match-high 28 assists. 

- Defensively, Steven Serrano (Oak Lawn, Ill.) paced the Engineers with 13 digs, while Kulinski added ten of his own.

- MIT held statistical advantages in kills, hitting percentage, assists, digs, solo blocks and block assists. The Engineers also improved to 15-0 in the all-time series against the Lions which dates back to 2009.

UP NEXT:

- MIT welcomes Cal Lutheran to Cambridge on Monday, March 25 for a 6:00 pm match.

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