MIT Outlasts Men's Volleyball

MIT Outlasts Men's Volleyball

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Freshman Matt Reilly (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) recorded 17 kills, 11 digs, and a pair of aces to help pace the MIT men's volleyball team to a 3-2 victory over Wentworth Institute of Technology in non-conference action at the Rockwell Cage.

With the win the Engineers improve to 18-5 on the season while the Leopards see their four-match win streak come to an end, falling to 14-7.

With the first set tied at four, MIT capitalized on two Wentworth errors and a kill by junior Sean Kropp (Fairless Hills, Pa.) to gain some breathing room. The Engineers maintained a small cushion for most of the frame until kills by sophomores Sean Mullen (Longwood, Fla.) and Ollie Oshman (Pennington, N.J.) narrowed the gap to 17-15. MIT replied with strikes from Reilly and freshman Skyler Kaufman (Needham, Mass.), prompting a timeout by the visitors.

Sophomore Jon Roat (Macedon, N.Y.) generated a kill for the Leopards coming out of the break, but the hosts' lead grew to 23-17 following a block by freshman Yize Dong (Moraga, Calif.) and sophomore Tavish Smith (Laguna Beach, Calif.). Wentworth countered with a Reed kill, an MIT hitting miscue, and a block by junior Alex Potts (Niverville, N.Y.) to cut the deficit in half. The comeback bid was denied courtesy of kills by Smith and junior Martin Krasuski (Aurora, Ill.) as MIT won, 25-20.
Wentworth inched out to a 14-10 lead in the second stanza but back-to-back Kaufman kills kept the Cardinal and Gray within striking distance. The Leopards responded with a 5-1 spurt as a pair of Oshman blocks helped create a 19-13 advantage. A kill by Smith set off an exchange of points until a junior Jake Reed (Arvada, Colo.) kill gave Wentworth the 25-18 victory.
The Leopards recorded four of the first five points of the third set and never looked back as they established a 20-10 advantage following a Mullen ace. Despite the deficit MIT continued to attack, using kills by Krasuski and Reilly to fight off set point. However, a kill from Oshman stopped the late rally as the Black & Gold took a 2-1 lead with a 25-16 win.

In the fourth set, MIT mounted an 8-1 run to build a 14-7 advantage. Wentworth battled back, closing the gap to 15-13 on an ace by Reed. After a timeout by the Engineers, Smith and Reilly produced kills to create some distance before eventually reaching set point at 24-20 on a Krasuski kill. The Leopards stayed alive courtesy of a pair of blocks. The first was a solo effort by Oshman while the next was a Roat and Potts collaboration. MIT replied with a kill from Smith to force the decisive fifth set, 25-20.
After a back-and-forth start that saw the frame knotted at four, the Engineers inched ahead on kills by Reilly and Kaufman. Mullen quickly registered a kill, which led to an exchange of points that continued after the changeover. A kill by Roat kept Wentworth close; however, a Smith strike coupled with a hitting miscue by the Leopards gave MIT an 11-8 lead. Following a Wentworth timeout, Roat registered another kill, kicking off a series of alternating sideouts that moved the score to 13-11. A hitting error gave the Engineers match point, which was immediately followed by a Reilly ace for the win.
Smith finished with 16 kills while Krasuski totaled 14. Kaufman posted 11 kills and four blocks as Dong racked up 51 assists, 11 digs, and four blocks. Junior Suyash Fulay (Wexford, Pa.) collected 10 digs while senior Brendan Chang (Laytonsville, Md.) bolstered the back row with eight digs.
Reed finished with a double-double, recording 14 kills and 10 digs to go along with three blocks. Roat generated 14 kills, seven digs, and three bocks as Mullen compiled 13 kills, 11 digs, three blocks, and two aces. Oshman and Potts both registered 10 kills and seven blocks while sophomore Kevin McPeek (Bethlehem, Pa.) contributed 56 assists and seven digs. Junior Mike Rogachefsky (Rochester, N.Y.) rounded out the Leopards with nine digs.
Both squads return to conference action in their next outings. MIT will visit nationally-ranked No. 2 SUNY New Paltz in a United Volleyball Conference tilt on Saturday, March 12. Wentworth, meanwhile, will travel to local GNAC rival Emmanuel College on Thursday, March 17.