Men's Volleyball Knocks Off No. 11 Endicott on Senior Night

Men's Volleyball Knocks Off No. 11 Endicott on Senior Night

THE BASICS:

Score: MIT 3, No. 11 Endicott College 1 (25-19, 25-16, 19-25, 25-19)

Records: MIT (21-8); No. 11 Endicott College (21-6)

Location: Cambridge, Mass. (Rockwell Cage)

The Lead: Powered by double-digit kills from seniors Steven Timberman (Merrick, N.Y.) and Skyler Kaufman (Needham, Mass.) as well as junior Thomas Nelson (San Ramon, Calif.), the MIT men's volleyball team knocked off nationally-ranked and regionally-ranked Endicott College in four sets tonight in Cambridge. 

Prior to the match tonight, the Engineers honored their five seniors including Timberman, Kaufman, Yize Dong (Moraga, Calif.)Jacob Gasparich (New Lenox, Ill.) and Sam Bockman (Oceanside, Calif.) for their contributions to the men's volleyball program.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- Leading 6-5 in the opening set, MIT went 10-3 run to push its advantage to eight at 16-8 midway through the stanza. The spurt featured two kills by Timberman, one kill by Nelson, one kill and a solo block by Kaufman, one kill by first-year Troy Oliveira (San Diego, Calif.), a pair of assisted blocks and two Endicott errors. The Gulls went on a brief 6-0 run of their own to cut the deficit to two (16-14), however three kills by Nelson paired with four Endicott errors secured the first set for the Engineers, 25-19. 

- MIT held a slim 11-10 lead in the second before a 5-1 run that was powered by three kills via Nelson extended the Engineers lead to five at 16-11. Late in the set, MIT took advantage of three errors by Endicott and paired that with a kill by Kaufman and a kill by Oliveira to win the seconds set, 25-16.

- Attempting to get back into the match, Endicott led from start to finish in the third set and with an 18-17 edge the visiting Gulls went on a set-ending 7-2 run to take the third 25-19 and chip into MIT's lead, 2-1.

- With the score even at 11 in the fourth, MIT put the set and the match out of reach with a 7-1 run that featured single kills by Oliveira, Nelson, Kaufman as well as a solo block and a service ace from Kaufman and an assisted block by Dong and sophomore Cole Linnus (Wellington, Fla.). After both teams traded points late in the set, an assisted block by Kaufman and Oliveira secured the fourth set 25-19 and the match, 3-1.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- MIT hit .342 overall in the match which broke down to a .300 performance in the first, a .452 percentage in the second, a .310 performance in the third and a .296 percentage in the fourth. 

- Individually, Nelson tied his season-high with 16 kills, while Timberman tied his career-high with 14 kills and swung .737 tonight. Kaufman added 11 kills to the effort for MIT in the victory. Endicott's Bryn Lipton and Donovan Day posted double-digit kills with 16 and 15, respectively, for the visitors.

- Dong dished out 44 assists, while five different MIT student-athletes notched at least five digs higlighted by nine from both Nelson and sophomore Nathan Wang (Saratoga, Calif.).

- MIT held statistical advantages in kills (55-46), hitting percentage (.342-.172), assists (50-43) and solo blocks (2-1) over Endicott tonight.

- Endicott came into today's match ranked 11th in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division III national poll and third in the initial NCAA East regional rankings.

- The Engineers are now 18-15 in the all-time series against the Gulls which dates back to 2002. Tonight's victory also maked the first win for MIT over Endicott since the 2016 campaign.

UP NEXT:

- MIT will close the regular season with a tri-match in Quincy on Saturday, April 6. The Engineers will play Dean College at 2:00 pm and host Eastern Nazarene College at 4:00 pm.

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