MIT Holds Off Men's Volleyball

MIT Holds Off Men's Volleyball

BOSTON, Mass. – Senior Tavish Smith (Laguna Beach, Calif.) recorded 15 kills and served two aces and junior Skyler Kaufman (Needham, Mass.) added 10 kills and hit .391 as the MIT men's volleyball team topped 13th-ranked Wentworth Institute of Technology, 3-1, in non-conference action Wednesday night.

With the win the Engineers improve to 10-4 on the season while the Leopards see their four-match win streak come to a halt, falling to 13-5 on the season.

MIT scored the first three points of the set and took an 8-2 lead after freshman Andrew Callahan (Western Springs, Ill.) served an ace. The Engineers built an 11-4 lead before senior Collin Ritter had a kill and a pair of blocks to make it 11-7. The teams traded points with a kill from Ritter making it 12-8, however, four straight Wentworth attack errors extended MIT's lead to 16-8. The hosts would come no closer than seven as the Engineers took the first set, 25-16. Ritter had three kills and three blocks in the set for Wentworth while Kaufman had three kills for MIT.

The teams traded points in the early part of the second set before a 6-2 MIT run gave the visitors a 10-5 lead. A 5-1 Leopard spurt pulled the Leopards to within a point (11-10) after an attack error before kills from Callahan and Kaufman made it 13-10. A service error and a kill from Ritter brought the hosts back to within a point but MIT extended its lead to 18-14 after a Wentworth service error. Trailing 21-15, the Leopards scored three of the next four points and trailed, 22-18, before the Engineers took the second set, 25-19. Ritter had three kills in the frame for the Black & Gold while Callahan had four kills for MIT.

Wentworth took a 6-4 lead to open the third set, as sophomore Ryan Engel (Floral Park, N.Y.) gave the hosts a two-point cushion. The Leopards extended their lead to 8-5 on an attack error. After a Smith kill made it 8-6, Wentworth used 1n 8-2 run to take a 16-8 lead, thanks in part to three kills from Ritter. Three straight service errors made it 17-10 before Wentworth scored the next three points to taka 20-10 lead. Out of a time out, MIT responded with two straight points – both coming on errors – but Wentworth scored three of the next four points to lead, 23-13. MIT scored three straight points to make it 23-16, however, Wentworth extended the match with a 25-17 win. Ritter had five kills in the set while Engel had four with neither making an error to help Wentworth hit .520 in the frame. Smith had four kills for the Engineers.

Five ties opened the fourth set before Wentworth took a 9-7 lead after an MIT attack error. The Engineers scored the next two points to even the score at 9-all. Three ties followed before the Black & Gold scored three of the next four points and led, 15-13, on a kill from senior Ollie Oshman (Pennington, N.J.). MIT took advantage of a pair of Wentworth errors and Kaufman and freshman Nathan Wang (Saratoga, Calif.) teamed up for a block to make it 16-15. Six more ties followed before MIT received a point on a service error and senior Andrew Hall (Lynnfield, Mass.) served an ace to make it 23-21 in favor of the Engineers. After a kill from Wang gave the Engineers match point, sophomore Ryan Love (Gaithersburg, Md.) responded with a kill and an Engineer attack error brought the hosts back within one at 24-23. However, Wang ended the match with a kill. Smith had six kills in the set for MIT while Love had five for Wentworth.

Callahan and Hall each recorded six kills for MIT, with Callahan also serving a pair of aces. Wang had five kills and three blocks, junior Yize Dong (Moraga, Calif.) had 37 assists, and sophomore Thomas Nelson (San Ramon, Calif.) had 15 digs).

Ritter paced the Leopards with 15 kills to go along with 21 assists and three blocks. Love had 11 kills and hit .360, Engel had seven kills, while Oshman had four kills, two aces, and three blocks. Sophomore Augusto Rodriguez-Guerrios (San Juan, P.R.) had 18 assists and six digs and freshman Peter Klembczyk (Penfield, N.Y.) had 10 digs.

Wentworth hosts fifth-ranked UC Santa Cruz on Friday afternoon.

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