Men's Volleyball Splits With No. 13 Endicott and Johnson & Wales on Saturday

Jack Yurkanin swings for a kill in a match played in Rockwell Cage.
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- Scores:

No. 13 Endicott College 3, MIT 2 (25-22, 19-25, 23-25, 25-22, 15-11)
MIT 3, Johnson & Wales University 0 (25-17, 27-25, 25-15)

- Records: MIT (4-3), No. 13 Endicott (4-2), Johnson & Wales (3-6)

- Location: Beverly, Mass. (MacDonald Gymnasium)

- The Lead: On Saturday afternoon in Beverly, the MIT men's volleyball team split a pair of matches against 13th-ranked Endicott College and Johnson & Wales University. The Engineers opened with a loss to the Gulls in five sets before bouncing back with a straight sets win over the Wildcats to close its week with a 2-2 record.

HOW IT HAPPENED vs. No. 13 Endicott:

- Endicott got out to an 8-2 lead in the first set before MIT battled back to eventually tie the score up at 12 following an ace by Jack Yurkanin (New Lenox, Ill.). Both teams traded points until the score stood at 16-16 and then MIT proceeded to go on a quick 4-1 run thanks to two kills by Dylan Ryan (Oviedo, Fla.) and one by Yurkanin sparked the run. The Engineers went up by one 23-22 late in the stanza and they secured the opening set with an Endicott error and a kill by Troy Oliveira (San Diego, Calif.).

- The Gulls led from very early in the second and never looked back as the hosts took the set 25-19 to even the match up at 1-1. MIT trailed by just one at 10-9 after the Engineers battled from an 8-3 deficit, but Endicott went on an 8-2 run to give itself the distance the Gulls would need to win the set.

- The third set saw the score tied on ten different occasions with the final one coming at 14-14 after a kill from Gabe Felicetti. MIT went ahead by as many as four (21-17) following an assisted block by Ryan and Oliveira en route to a 25-23 set three victory. Two service errors paired with a kill by Yurkanin gave MIT a 2-1 lead in the match.

- Just as Endicott did early in the match, MIT took a big lead in the fourth set as the Engineers led by seven at 11-4 following another kill by Ryan. The Gulls fought back and eventually took the lead for good at 16-14 following an MIT error. A trio of service errors by MIT gave Endicott the fourth set 25-22 and sent the match to a fifth set. 

- Endicott jumped out to a 7-3 edge in the fifth set and forced MIT to call a timeout following kills by Erich Roman and Bryn Lipton. The Engineers got as close as three points on two occasions with the final time coming at 13-10. A block and a kill by Lipton gave the Gulls the set 15-11 and the match 3-2.


- MIT was led by three student-athletes with double-digit kills highlighted by 17 from Yurkanin. Oliveria chipped in with 13 and Steve Timberman added ten to the effort for the Engineers. Nathan Wang (Saratoga, Calif.) dished out a career-high 48 assists, while Yurkanin pace MIT with a trio of service aces.

- Defensively, Thomas Nelson (San Ramon, Calif.) posted a team-high nine digs, while Ryan registered a career-high two solo blocks to go along with four assisted blocks on the day.

- Endicott had four student-athletes with double-digit kills as Lipton posted 17, while Roman, Donovan Dey and Felicetti all registered 11. Lipton also led the match with 15 digs.

- Endicott came into today's match ranked 13th in the latest AVCA Division III National Poll, while MIT was receiving votes for the third straight week.

HOW IT HAPPENED vs. Johnson & Wales:

- Tied at 8-8 early in the opening set, MIT went on a 12-3 run to go ahead by a 20-11 score. The early run was sparked by a trio of kills from Oliveira, two kills and two aces by Yurkanin and an ace by Tommy Ogeka (Manorville, N.Y.). Johnson & Wales and MIT traded points until a kill by Nicholas Gustafson (San Diego, Calif.) gave the Engineers the first set 25-17.

- With Johnson & Wales up two at 24-22 late in the second, MIT went on a 5-1 run to claim the set by a 27-25 score. In that set ending run, a kill by Oliveira paired with two block assists gave MIT a 25-24 edge before Zach Turner tied the match up at 25-25 for the Wildcats. It was Yurkanin, however, who sealed the set for MIT, with back to back kills from Albert Luo (Dallas, Texas) for the 27-25 win.

- The third set, much like the first, was even at 8-8 before the Engineers ripped off a big run. This time it was a spurt of 10-2 that put MIT ahead for good. The run featured back to back service aces from Wang, a kill from Yurkanin and an assisted block by Ryan and Gustafson. Late in the set, both teams traded points until MIT had match point. Yurkanin took a pass from Seth Fine (Allentown, Pa.) and registered his 14th kill of the match to give the Engineers the set 25-15 and the match 3-0.


- As they did against Endicott, Yurkanin and Oliveira registered double-digit kills. Yurkanin led MIT with 14 kills, three service aces and five digs, while Oliveira notched 12 kills, one service aces and five digs of his own.

- Luo led the Engineers with 21 assists, while Nelson guided MIT with eight digs.

- MIT led Johnson & Wales statistically in kills (38-20), hitting percentage (.284-.133), assists (35-28), service aces (8-1), digs (28-21) and block assists (19-16).


- MIT will host Emmanuel College on Thursday, March 6 at 7:00 pm for a non-conference matchup in Rockwell Cage. 


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