Wang Powers Men's Volleyball to 3-2 Win at No. 14 Dominican

Photo by DSPics.com
Photo by DSPics.com

THE BASICS:

Score: MIT 3, No. 14 Dominican University 2 (26-24, 23-25, 27-25, 18-25, 15-12)

Records: MIT (19-7); Dominican University (16-10)

Location: River Forest, Ill. (Igini Sports Forum)

The Lead: Powered by a career-high 17 kills by sophomore Nathan Wang (Saratoga, Calif.), the MIT men's volleyball team edged No. 14 Dominican University in five sets (26-24, 23-25, 27-25, 18-25, 15-12) in River Forest, Illinois on the team's second day in the Chicago area.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- In the opening set, the Engineers hit .333 and the score was tied nine times but found themselves down 24-23 late. An error by Dominican, paired with an assisted block by sophomore Cole Linnus (Wellington, Fla.) and first-year Troy Oliveira (San Diego, Calif.) and a kill by Oliveira secured a come from behind first set victory for MIT, 26-24. 

- Much like the first set, the second was close all the way through and featured six ties and a pair of lead changes. The Engineers trailed 23-19 and attempted to rally with four straight points on two Dominicans errors, a kill by Oliveira and an ace by senior Skyler Kaufman (Needham, Mass.). However, the Stars received back-to-back kills by Adam Eboli to win the second set, 25-23, and knot the match up at 1-1.

- The third saw MIT hit .379 and take an early 9-3 advantage, but in the end needed extra points to be decided. The set opening run featured two kills by Kaufman, one kill apiece via junior Thomas Nelson (San Ramon, Calif.) and first-year Tommy Ogeka (Manorville, N.Y.) as well as an ace from and a block. MIT allowed Dominican to climb back into the set and late in the stanza with the score even at 25-25, a kill by wang and an assisted block via Wang and Kaufman gave the Engineers a 27-25 win in set three.

- Dominican won the fourth set by the largest margin of any of the five tonight as the Stars took it 25-18 to force a fifth set. MIT had a 10-7 lead, but an 8-2 run put Dominican up three at 15-12 and the Stars never looked back. Back-to-back errors by the Engineers gave the Stars a 25-18 set four victory. 

- MIT and Dominican were even at 5-5 early in the fifth, but a 4-0 spurt by the Engineers on single kills from Oliveira and Wang as well as two errors gave MIT a lead it would not relinquish. Both teams traded points late in the set and it was Oliveira who swung for his ninth kill of the ninth that secured the 3-2 victory for MIT over the No. 14 Stars.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Wang and Kaufman notched double-digit kills for MIT as Wang tallied a career-high 17 kills, while Kaufman registered a season-high 15 kills to lead the Engineers offense. Oliveira posted nine kills of his own, while Nelson had eight and Ogeka as well as Linnus posted seven kills in the victory.  

- Senior Yize Dong (Moraga, Calif.) dished out 54 assists, while first-year Steven Serrano (Oak Lawn, Ill.) tallied ten digs for the Engineers.

- Today marked the first-ever victory for MIT over Dominican in the all-time series which dates back to 2015. It also marked the second win for MIT over a nationally-ranked opponent this season as the Engineers defeated No. 14 Vassar earlier this year.

UP NEXT:

- MIT will round out its trip to Illinois with a tri-match at the Illinois Institute of Technology. The Engineers will play against No. 5 Benedictine at 3:30 pm EST/2:30 pm CST and against the host Scarlet Hawks at 6:00 pm EST/5:00 CST.

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