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Volleyball Club Wins League Championship

By Evan Sherbrooke
and Gene Van Buren
Team Members

A long tradition of excellent volleyball was renewed on Sunday, as the intercollegiate volleyball club won the New England Collegiate Volleyball League championship by defeating the top-ranked University of New Hampshire in a hard-fought 17-15, 15-13 victory.

Brian Vanden Bosch '95 was selected for the all-tournament team in the post-tourney awards ceremony.

In addition to a flawless 9-0 record in divisional play, the team compiled an impressive record of victories in collegiate tournaments. The only regular season loss for the club occurred in an away match at the University of New Hampshire.

The stage was set on Sunday for a final confrontation between MIT and UNH, who had established themselves as the two finest teams in the region during the regular season.

MIT began its day against the easiest pool opponents, Johnson and Wales University who lost 114, 111.

Next up was Dartmouth University, considered by MIT to be the toughest pool opponent. With IVC's starters in, the team played aggressively and kept Dartmouth at bay with strong blocking and aggressive serving. Both games went to MIT 117, 117.

Wesleyan was Tech's next target, and the club did not take the threat seriously. This turned out to be MIT's biggest mistake of the day.

Several starters returned to the lineup mid-game, but it was too late as Wesleyan took the first game 112. In the second game MIT managed an 115 win.

Tech's last opponent in pool play was Worcester Polytechnical Institute. Cheering from the bench picked up and on-court players showed more support for each other. The difference was clear as IVC rolled over WPI 113, 113.

IVC's 71 pool record consequently pitted them against the University of Connecticut, the second team from the other pool. Undaunted by UConn's size and good record, MIT never letting UConn into the match. A string of seven points from the serve of John Lee G helped to finish off the Huskies 158, 152 before they knew what hit them.

The last obstacle for IVC remained the undefeated home team, the Wildcats of New Hampshire.

The Engineers were pumped for the match and took off to a small early lead by holding off the Wildcats' strong-side attack with blocking from Vanden Bosch.

But UNH's deep play list began to burn IVC's defense, and strong blocking by UNH began to dampen MIT's outside attacks. UNH soon caught up and took the lead to 106.

A time-out from MIT gave them the rest they needed to side-out and work their way back into the game. Setter Koji Asari 96 fed each of the IVC hitters deceptively, leaving the UNH block guessing and usually providing right-side hitter Parry Husbands G with a single block.

Once MIT reached 11-10, UNH began to pick it up again and took two quick points. The battle see-sawed as side-out followed side-out and each team gathered points slowly.

Significant points for MIT came off the blocks of Kent Sorenson G in the middle, and it looked as though Tech had it won at 14-13. This time, UNH's time-out helped spur them on to reach their own game point at 15-14. But MIT came back to win by a rousing 17-15.

The momentum was with IVC and the home crowd was silent as Tech swept to a speedy 60 start in game two. Again, UNH took a time-out and got back into the match with hustling defense.

A 72 run brought them to within a point of the Engineers before MIT called a time-out. The club returned with vigorous hitting from the outside by Tom Klemas G and Sherbrooke to earn a 107 lead.

Again, UNH gathered momentum and ran varied plays in the middle to beat the MIT block. Their four point run led to their only lead of the game as a step up in defense returned the momentum once and for all to the Engineers.

UNH managed only a few more side-outs and two more points as IVC reached championship point at 1413. A back set to Husbands who had come alive on the right-side attack was all it took to slam the door on the Wildcats and bring home the gold for MIT.