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IVC Drops Close Match to Tufts Despite Good Team Effort

By Gene Van Buren
Team Member

Thursday, Feb. 15 saw the first divisional loss for the Intercollegiate Volleyball Club. In a tightly contested match held in DuPont Gymnasium lasting over two hours, Tufts University won by a score of 915, 1510, 1614, 415, 159.

This was IVC's first match since losing its premier player, Parry J.R. Husbands G, to a sprained ankle. Husbands hopes to return to action by the end of this week.

MIT started the match well, taking the initial lead with two points from the service of Phil Le G. The Club earned 14 of its 15 points in the first game while middle hitter Gunter Niemeyer G was in the front row. IVC lost its lead only once on its way to the 159 game win when it was unable to score for nearly two full rotations midgame.

The second game began slowly for both teams until Tufts took six in a row to take the lead 129. Poor blocking contributed as MIT never got back into the game, dropping it 1510 to Tufts.

Brian Rexing G brought an early lead to IVC in game three with four points during his service. But Tufts countered with four points of their own during the same rotation in which they started their game two streak, despite Niemeyer's presence in the front row. Neither team played strongly for the rest of the game, but errors from IVC eventually gave Tufts the 1614 advantage.

Game four opened similarly, with Tufts going up 32 with three straight points again in the same rotation that cost IVC so many points in games two and three. Three points from the serve of Gene Van Buren G took MIT ahead before Tufts scored their only other point of the game.

Setter Koji Asari '96 then began serving to Tufts primary passer while the passer was hitting right side. The strategy, chosen by coach Satoshi Asari '94, worked so well that Koji Asari's service finished off the game with nine straight points.

Rally scoring was in effect for the deciding fifth game, and sideouts dominated until three servers in a row scored an extra point for Tufts. IVC called a timeout as Tufts' lead reached 117, managing to score the next sideout and the following point.

But that was it for MIT as Tufts' biggest hitter scored twice through the outside block to swell their lead. Hitting errors from MIT preceded a block on MIT's outside attack which won the match for Tufts.

IVC Sweeps UMass-Lowell

IVC also hosted UMass-Lowell this past Tuesday in Rockwell Cage. The match was a good opportunity for all of the Club's players to see court time as the Engineers swept UML 154, 1510, 1715.

Knowing that UML had improved upon last year's team, IVC put in its normal starting six to begin the match. IVC's blockers applied initial pressure to the outside attack of UML, earning early points for the Club.

As UML began tipping and rolling over the block, Koji Asari set outsides Alberto Lazaro G and Rad Roberts G who ripped balls over the opposing blockers. Le and Niemeyer also fared well against weak middle blockers to help Tech to a 154 win.

John Lee G helped IVC start the second game quickly with well-placed attacks from the right side, and strong serving. As the lead built up, coach Satoshi Asari replaced the starting middles with Tom Kelsch G and John Modzelewski '98. UML was able to reduce MIT's advantage to 1310, but the final two points went IVC's way.

By the middle of the third game, Lazaro was the only starter still in the lineup for IVC. Bickering among UML's players did not help their struggle, and the Club was able to stay even despite numerous errors. Down 1314, IVC's players dug in and finished the match strongly with a 1715 third game win.

IVC improved its record to 21 for the season with the win over UMass-Lowell. Their next home match is against Salem State on March 5.