Tech Takes Down Endicott in Five-Set Thriller

Junior Brendan Chang
Junior Brendan Chang

BEVERLY, Mass. – The nationally-ranked No. 11 MIT men's volleyball team defeated Endicott College, 25-23, 25-10, 23-25, 19-25, 15-7, in non-conference action on Wednesday night. With the win, the Engineers improved to 11-2 on the year.

Senior Alex Klein (San Diego, Calif.) nearly registered a triple-double as he totaled 14 kills, 11 digs, and eight blocks for MIT. Freshman Jack Serrino (Glencoe, Ill.) amassed 11 kills, a .455 hitting performance, 10 blocks, and three aces while sophomore Martin Krasuski (Aurora, Ill.) posted eight digs, seven kills, and three blocks. Senior Andrew Busse (Mount Prospect, Ill.) recorded seven kills, five blocks, and two aces as sophomore Sean Kropp (Fairless Hills, Pa.) contributed six kills in three sets of action. Junior Brendan Chang (Laytonsville, Md.) tallied 41 assists, seven digs, and two aces while sophomore Suyash Fulay (Wexford, Pa.) collected a team-high 14 digs.

The first set was tightly played as it featured 12 ties and five lead changes. Trailing 10-9, Endicott generated a 5-1 spurt which resulted in its largest lead of the frame. A Klein kill sparked a 10-3 run that put the Engineers in front, 21-17. Following their own timeout, the Gulls posted three straight points which prompted MIT to call a timeout. Once action resumed, two miscues helped increase the visitors' lead to 23-20 as an exchange of kills gave them set point. A block and hitting error kept Endicott alive but a Klein strike secured the win.

In the second stanza MIT jumped out to a 7-2 advantage; however, the Gulls recorded the next two points on MIT errors. A kill by Kropp kicked off a 17-5 run to that helped the Cardinal and Gray take control of the set. A hitting error produced set point as serving errors by both sides ended the frame.

The third set was another close affair as there were 10 ties and three lead changes. With the score knotted at 12, Endicott capitalized on two errors and a kill to create some breathing room. The Engineers recorded the next four points as a Kropp kill put them ahead, 16-15. The hosts countered with a 6-2 spurt, forcing MIT to call a timeout. Despite an Endicott kill, a trio of errors brought the Engineers within one (22-21). After a timeout by the Gulls, an exchange of points ensued as Endicott closed the set with a 25-23 victory.

The Gulls rattled off eight straight points to open the fourth frame. MIT gradually closed the gap to four (14-10) after Serrino recorded two kills and a block with Klein. Endicott replied with a 10-5 run to claim set point. Kills by Kropp, Klein, and Serrino in addition to a Serrino-Klein block extended the set. However, the comeback bid was denied on a kill during the ensuing rally.

The Engineers scored the first four points of the fifth set and then went up 6-2. Following a timeout by the Gulls, an exchange of points followed as Klein's kill gave MIT an 8-5 lead at the changeover. After switching sides, Krasuski generated a kill and a block with Busse while two miscues increased the margin to 12-5. Another timeout by Endicott resulted in alternating sideouts until Chang's kill and a hitting error clinched the match for the Engineers.

Next up for MIT will be a trio of matches in Illinois this weekend. The Engineers will travel to Benedictine University on Friday, Feb. 27 before taking on Lakeland College at Dominican University in a tri-match the next day.