BEVERLY, Mass. – In its return to action following a 16-day hiatus, the MIT men's volleyball team defeated Endicott College, 25-16, 25-20, 25-14, on Thursday night. With the win, the Engineers improved to 20-6 and registered the program's 11th 20-win season in 12 years.
MIT rattled off the first six points of the night en route to a 17-9 advantage. The Gulls closed the gap to six on two occasions, the last at 22-16. The Engineers then wrapped up the set courtesy of two kills from freshman Skyler Kaufman (Needham, Mass.) and a block by classmate Yize Dong (Moraga, Calif.).
The visitors inched out to a 5-2 lead in the second stanza and maintained a small cushion with a hitting error increasing the margin to 16-12. Following an Endicott timeout, the hosts capitalized on a hitting error that set off an exchange of points which brought them within 18-15. A pair of miscues by the Gulls gave MIT some breathing room as it eventually reached set point on freshman Matt Reilly's (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) kill. A serving error extended the frame but a strike from sophomore Tavish Smith (Laguna Beach, Calif.) clinched the win.
The Cardinal and Gray recorded the opening five points of the third set, later building a 15-9 lead. Endicott chipped away at the deficit, coming within four (17-13). This was as close as it would get as MIT finished off the match with an 8-1 run.
The Engineers hit .395 on the night as Dong tallied 35 assists, six digs, and three blocks. Reilly finished with 11 kills, five digs, and two aces while Kaufman produced 11 kills and three blocks. Junior Martin Krasuski (Aurora, Ill.) chipped in nine kills as Smith generated seven kills and three aces. Junior Suyash Fulay (Wexford, Pa.) collected a match-high seven digs, followed by six from senior Brendan Chang (Laytonsville, Md.).
MIT closes out United Volleyball Conference play on Saturday, April 2 when it takes on Penn State-Behrend in a tri-match at No. 4 Stevens Institute of Technology.