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Despite Strong Performances, Men's Volleyball Defeated 3-1

By Charles Morton
team member

The men's volleyball team's drive for the playoffs continued Wednesday night with a tough but impressive defeat against perennial powerhouse Roger Williams University. The loss dropped the Engineers to 47 and 13 in the conference.

The Eagles, last year's Odeneal Conference champs, were ambushed by the Engineers in the opening game of the match. MIT capitalized on precision serving and aggressive blocking to control the tempo of the game and won 1510.

Completely taken out of their game plan, the Eagles returned to the second game with a modified serving strategy which disrupted the Engineers' offense and took away their momentum, winning the game 156.

However, the Engineers were able to adjust by the third game and were able to put together a solid hitting attack led by Mike Margetts '97 and Hans Robertson '99 but fell short on the defensive end and fell 157.

In the fourth game, the Engineers recovered a lot of the intensity of the first game but were faced with a Roger Williams squad that was on fire. Despite inspired blocking by Jesper Jensen '97 at the end of the match, Roger Williams was able to outlast the Engineers 1510 and claim the match 31.

While an upset of Roger Williams would have launched the Engineers upward in the conference standings, Wednesday's performance put them among the elite in the eastern region, as few teams have given Roger Williams any trouble in the last two seasons.

"The team brought its play to a whole new level," said head coach Thomas Klemas. "I was thoroughly impressed with the performance."

MIT splits conference matches

The team also faced conference rivals Queens College and Hunter College on Feb. 15, in a doubleheader at the University of Rhode Island. In the first match against Queens College, the Engineer offense struggled, and Queens was unfazed by the Engineer serving attack that most other teams cannot handle. Queens capitalized on their tremendous size advantage and tenacious defense to dominate play and take the match in three games.

The Engineers recovered quickly, however, and thoroughly pummeled Hunter College in the afternoon match, controlling play at the net throughout the match. Hunter's scrappy play resulted in several Engineer errors, but the team was able to earn a decisive conference victory with strong hitting and blocking.

"The entire team has really stepped up their level of intensity at practices and matches," Klemas said. "In particular, two team members, Charles Morton '97 and Mike Margetts, have really distinguished themselves recently by posting some impressive statistics: Charles had the seventh highest number of blocks per games in NCAA Division III men's volleyball, and Mike was ranked eighth for kills per game. Both were tied for 14th in service aces per game."

The team's next home contest is on March 5 at 7 p.m. against Springfield College.