Men’s Volleyball Falls to Cal Lutheran in Three Sets

Yize Dong and Thomas Nelson
Photo by Gil Talbot

THE BASICS:

- Score: California Lutheran University 3, MIT 0 (25-21, 25-18, 25-23)

- Records: MIT (16-7); Cal Lutheran (10-8)

- Location: Cambridge, Mass. (Rockwell Cage)

- The Lead: Three consecutive points at the end of the third set helped California Lutheran University come from behind to sweep MIT, 25-21, 25-18, 25-23, in non-conference men's volleyball action on Monday night.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- The Engineers built an 8-4 lead in the opening set after a block by senior Skyler Kaufman (Needham, Mass.) and first-year Tommy Ogeka (Manorville, N.Y.). Cal Lutheran gradually put together an 13-5 run as a block by Patrick Rowe, Brendan Ward, and Dasmen Stewart gave it a 17-13 lead. A Kaufman kill coupled with a Kingsmen hitting error cut MIT's deficit in half. However, a kill by Andrew Reina and a Rowe ace gave Cal Lutheran enough of a cushion as it went on to win the set, 25-21.

- After a back-and-forth start to the second stanza, the Kingsmen slowly pulled away and established a 22-14 advantage. The Engineers capitalized on a pair of errors and a kill from sophomore Cole Linnus (Wellington, Fla.), but Cal Lutheran claimed three of the next four points, securing the 25-18 win on Rowe's kill.

- The third set was closely played as there were 15 ties and six lead changes. Trailing 10-9, MIT picked up the next three points, the last on Ogeka's ace. The Kingsmen went on to tie the set six times, the last at 17-17 courtesy of Justin Dietrich's kill, which sparked a 4-0 burst. The Engineers battled back, going in front 23-22, after a kill by junior Thomas Nelson (San Ramon, Calif.) and an ace by sophomore Nathan Wang (Saratoga, Calif.). Cal Lutheran responded with a Rowe kill, a Stewart and Ward block, and a Reina kill to capture the come-from-behind win.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Linnus paced MIT with seven kills as Kaufman totaled five kills and three blocks. Ogeka also chipped in five kills as Nelson posted seven digs. Senior Yize Dong (Moraga, Calif.) rounded out the Engineers with 26 assists and eight digs.

- Deitrich racked up eight blocks and eight kills as Rowe tallied nine kills, six digs, and four blocks. Reina finished with 10 digs and nine kills while Mason Mercer registered eight kills and four blocks. Stewart bolstered the defense with four blocks as Grant Nelson generated 19 assists and seven digs.

UP NEXT:

- MIT kicks off its three-day trip to Illinois on Thursday, March 28 when it visits North Park University for a tri-match with Aurora University. Cal Lutheran, meanwhile, continues its east coast trip with a match at Wentworth Institute of Technology on Tuesday, March 26.

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