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Men's Volleyball Finishes Third In Roger Williams Invitational

By Thomas Klemas
team coach

On Saturday, the men's varsity volleyball team finished third place in the Roger Williams University Invitational, challenging strong Harvard University and Roger Williams teams along the way.

The Engineers started the day by defeating Ramapo College 30 to earn a spot in the playoffs.

This match, highlighted by an impressive above 30 team hitting percent, really kindled spirit in the players. By the end, the team was in a groove, and Hans Robertson '99 had stepped up to his new role as right-side hitter, with some key blocking of the opponent's left-side hitters that continued throughout the day.

This provided some flexibility to utilize the versatility of James Hsiao '99, who provided backup in the outside hitter, right-side hitter, and back row specialist positions. Stanley Hong '99, who began training for the setter position only a few months ago, also turned in a very strong performance in a new role.

The next match was against long-time rival Harvard, which defeated MIT 30 on Feb. 5. That earlier match was exciting as the varsity played very well in the first game, losing 1512. However, the Engineers quickly lost confidence and lost the next two games.

The weekend's matchup was even closer. Despite missing several important players, the team took a game from Harvard and then rallied in the fourth game to a 113 lead. At this point, the Engineers got stuck for four straight points in its toughest rotation, a two-hitter rotation. The team had no more substitutions, as injuries and unexpected fraternity involvements of various team members had only allowed eight players to travel to the tournament. Still, the varsity had two timeouts. However, even that was not enough to break Harvard's momentum, despite a valiant effort.

Although MIT lost, there were some positives from the match. Harvard played really well, and the Engineers played its best to date, forcing the Harvard team to use both timeouts and all its allowed subs to regain momentum. In particular, Mike Margetts '97 was an offensive force with some hitting percentages above 50 percent in the earlier match. This performance earned him All-Tournament honors.

Captain David Lehman '97 was a close second, passing extremely well and hitting very well from both the front and back row. Middle hitter Charles Morton '97 and outside hitter Jesper Jensen '97 added to the team's top performance with strong play as well.

In the Engineers' third and final match, the team lost to an extremely strong Roger Williams team 03 in the semifinals of the tournament to finish in third place for the day.