CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Down 0-2 on MIT's home court, the Wentworth Institute of Technology battled back to force five sets inside Rockwell Cage, but fell short in the deciding frame 11-15 in non-conference action Wednesday evening.
Junior Ryan Love (Gaithersburg, Md.) led four Leopards with career-high stats and booked 20 kills on .419 hitting with eight digs in the effort. Junior Xhuljo Zyba (Holbrook, Mass.) followed with 14 kills and five digs, while classmate Scott Skarzynski (Webster, N.Y.) rounded out WIT's top hitters with 13 kills (.343) and just one error on 35 swings. Junior Augusto Rodriguez-Guerrios (San Juan, P.R.) topped his career-high assists mark by one, finishing with 52 in the match.
Defensively, sophomore Peter Klembczyk (Penfield, N.Y.) tied his season-high with 20 digs, and also dished out two assists.
Wentworth switched gears in the third and fourth sets, hitting .387 and .385, respectively, and ignited the comeback with a 4-0 run to break a 15-15 tie in the third frame. Despite an MIT timeout, the Leopards never surrendered the lead and secured the 25-19 set victory on the heels of a 4-1 run with an ace from Skarzynski, and a kill apiece from Love and senior Brian Drouse (Dallas, Pa.).
The Leopards trailed by as many as six points in the fourth set, after a kill from MIT's Thomas Nelson gave the Engineers a 10-4 advantage. Two blasts from Love and a MIT miscue shrunk the gap to three points, before Love took the service line and rattled off four straight points, giving Wentworth its first lead of the set, 14-13. MIT regained a two-point cushion following an ace from Nathan Wang, and kept the Black & Gold at bay until the set's conclusion. Skarzynski finished a set from Rodriguez-Guerrios to pull within one, before two MIT attack errors gave WIT the lead for good. Love and Zyba cashed in the final kills of the set, forcing a deciding set inside Rockwell Cage.
The two teams continued to battle in the fifth with neither able to gain an advantage of more than two points until the waning plays of the evening. Zyba pulled WIT within one, 11-12, before Nelson and Yize Dong ceased any Leopard chances of putting more points on the board.
Wentworth (6-3) swings right back into action tomorrow night when it resumes conference play at Colby-Sawyer. First serve is set for 7:00 p.m.
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