Endicott College 3, MIT 2 (16-25, 25-20, 19-25, 25-21, 15-13)
Johnson & Wales University 3, MIT 1 (25-22, 27-25, 17-25, 26-24)
- Records: MIT (5-3); Endicott (4-5); Johnson & Wales (2-3)
- Location: Providence, R.I. (Wildcat Center)
- The Lead: In the finale of the Johnson & Wales University (JWU) Invitational on Saturday, the MIT men's volleyball team fell to Endicott College in five sets (16-25, 25-20, 19-25, 25-21, 15-13) and then dropped a tough four-set tilt against the host Wildcats (25-22, 27-25, 17-25, 26-24). Despite the setbacks, sophomore Steven Timberman (Merrick, N.Y.) represented the Cardinal and Gray on the All-Tournament Team.
HOW IT HAPPENED – MATCH ONE vs. Endicott:
- MIT jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the opening set but Endicott narrowed the gap to two on three occasions, the last at 8-6. The Engineers capitalized on a serving error which helped it go on to take a 25-16 win.
- In a back and forth second set, the Gulls recorded three straight points to take a 20-17 lead. A kill from junior Tavish Smith (Laguna Beach, Calif.) along with a block by sophomores Jacob Gasparich (New Lenox, Ill.) and Yize Dong (Moraga, Calif.) brought MIT within one. However, Endicott replied with a 5-1 spurt to close out the set.
- The Engineers built a 6-1 lead and maintained a small cushion throughout the third set as a block by freshman Thomas Nelson (San Ramon, Calif.) and sophomore Skyler Kaufman (Needham, Mass.) secured the 25-19 victory.
- Trailing 13-10 in the fourth set, the Gulls generated a 14-6 run to reach set point. A pair of errors kept MIT alive but an Endicott kill forced a fifth set.
- After conceding the first two points of the final frame, the Gulls put together a 6-1 run before going up 13-8. The Engineers claimed four of the next five points to extend the match; however, a serving error ended the comeback attempt.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Smith paced MIT with 16 kills while Kaufman produced 10 kills and eight blocks. Timberman posted 10 kills and seven blocks as Nelson notched eight kills and eight digs. Seniors Suyash Fulay (Wexford, Pa.) and Jordan Lucier (Torrance, Calif.) collected 11 and 10 digs, respectively, while Dong totaled 41 assists and two aces.
HOW IT HAPPENED – MATCH TWO vs. Johnson & Wales:
- JWU inched out to a 19-14 lead in the first set but MIT closed the gap to 21-19 after a kill by freshman Michael Kulinski (New Lenox, Ill.). The Wildcats replied with three straight points which was matched by the Engineers before a JWU kill capped the frame.
- MIT slowly built a 15-13 edge in the second stanza but the hosts mounted a 6-2 run to reclaim the lead. A kill by Timberman set off an exchange of points until a pair of hitting errors evened the score at 21. A serving error coupled with a kill created some distance for the Wildcats. However, the Engineers tied things up with kills from Kaufman and Smith. JWU used a kill to claim set point but a Smith strike led to alternating sideouts that moved the score to 25-25. The Wildcats then produced back-to-back kills to clinch the win.
- Holding a 15-13 lead in the third set MIT went on a 10-4 run to capture the victory.
- Trailing 13-9 in the fourth set, the Engineers mounted a 12-6 run to take the lead. JWU countered with a 5-2 spurt to go ahead 24-23. A serving error resulted in the 11th tie of the frame but the Wildcats capitalized on a serving miscue and a block to fend off MIT's comeback bid.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Smith powered the Engineers with 15 kills, followed by 14 kills and a .480 hitting performance by Kaufman. Timberman tallied 14 kills, a .357 hitting percentage, and three blocks as Nelson amassed a match-high 23 digs. Dong had 40 assists and eight digs while Kulinski dished out 11 assists in the opening set.
- MIT returns to action on Tuesday, Jan. 31 when it hosts Wentworth Institute of Technology at 7:00 p.m.