MIT Defeats Emerson and Daniel Webster in Season Opener

Junior Suyash Fulay
Junior Suyash Fulay

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The MIT men's volleyball team kicked off its 2016 season by defeating Emerson College (26-24, 25-13, 25-13) and Daniel Webster College (25-15, 25-19, 27-25, 25-18) on Saturday. Midway through the day, Daniel Webster outlasted Emerson, 23-25, 25-22, 26-24, 25-21.

MIT def. Emerson, 3-0 (26-24, 25-13, 25-13)
Sophomore Tavish Smith (Laguna Beach, Calif.) led all players with 10 kills and a .588 hitting effort as MIT (2-0) generated a team hitting percentage of .410. Freshman Yize Dong (Moraga, Calif.) tallied 20 assists, eight kills, six digs, and three blocks as junior Martin Krasuski (Aurora, Ill.) generated eight kills, eight digs, and four aces. Freshman Matt Reilly (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) posted eight kills, four aces, and two blocks while junior Suyash Fulay (Wexford, Pa.) registered 16 assists and eight digs.

Sophomore Nick Rusk (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) paced Emerson (0-2) with six kills, followed by four from freshman Win Kittivatcharapong (Bangkok, Thailand). Senior Jared Gross (Wexford, Pa.) anchored the defense with five digs as freshman Mark Piorkowski (Montclair, N.J.) notched four digs and three aces. Senior Brendan McGonigle (Los Angeles, Calif.) recorded 16 assists and four digs while sophomore Stig Regan (Kailua, Hawaii) generated three blocks.

Daniel Webster def. Emerson, 3-1 (23-25, 25-22, 26-24, 25-21)
Freshman Saunoa Afoa (Las Vegas, Nev.) amassed a match-high 17 kills and a .452 hitting effort for Daniel Webster (1-1). Junior Tommy Reyes (Providence, R.I.) totaled nine kills, seven digs, and four aces as senior Ryan Howdeshell (Fairbanks, Alaska) registered nine kills and two aces. Freshman Richmond Iturralde Zavalza (Sahuarita, Ariz.) finished with 10 digs, eight kills, and two blocks. Senior Darien Mason (Farmington, Conn.) contributed seven kills and three blocks as freshman Nate Makiawi (Las Vegas, Nev.) produced a double-double on 42 assists and 14 digs.

Senior Jackson Wiley (Los Angeles, Calif.) was a force at the net for Emerson as he compiled 16 kills, a .316 hitting percentage, and four blocks. Rusk bolstered the offense with nine kills and four aces while Gross collected a match-high 17 digs. McGonigle and Piorkowski both had seven digs as McGonigle distributed 40 assists. Regan rounded out the squad with three blocks.

MIT def. Daniel Webster, 3-1 (25-15, 25-19, 25-27, 25-18)
Smith once again paced MIT with 13 kills and added two blocks as Reilly generated 12 kills, two aces, and two blocks. Freshman Aaron Huang (San Jose, Calif.) recorded seven kills and three aces while Fulay amassed 19 assists and 10 digs. Dong tallied 29 assists, eight digs, and two blocks as freshman Parker Hall (Lomita, Calif.) led all players with 16 digs. Freshman Skyler Kaufman (Needham, Mass.) completed the Engineers' effort with four blocks.

Afoa racked up 12 kills, seven digs, and two blocks for Daniel Webster as Howdeshell added 11 kills and three aces. Makaiwi tallied 31 assists, 13 digs, and two blocks while Reyes earned nine digs. Mason chipped in three blocks as sophomore Travis Somero (New Ipswich, N.H.) added six digs.

Next up for MIT is a home match against Johnson & Wales University on Tuesday, Jan. 19. Daniel Webster returns to action on Friday, Jan. 22 when it hosts SUNY New Paltz. Emerson, meanwhile, resumes play the following day by hosting a tri-match with CCNY and Southern Vermont College.