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Men's Volleyball Team Defeats Harvard In Five Set Comeback

By Thomas Klemas
Head Coach

The men's volleyball team defeated Harvard University for the first time since March 14, 1991. On Thursday the men's team regrouped to win 3 games in a row after dropping the first two to defeat Harvard 115, 1416, 159, 157, 1513.

The victory, in front of a large and loud home crowd, was very much a team effort as a number of different lineups were used during the intense match. The left side hitters were team co-captains Bob Moser '99 and Darius Jazayeri '00 as well as Garry Maskaly '00. The middle hitters included Anthony Parris '02, Mark Histed '00, and Yabing Chiu '99. Moser (19 kills, 14 digs), Jazayeri (8 kills), and Chiu (6 kills) had exceptional performances on offense. Parris and Histed blocked very effectively against Harvard's strong attacks. Nikos Michalakis '01 was a dominant attacking force from the right side hitter position with 22. Minpont Chien '00, the team setter, ran the offense very effectively with his 60 assists and made some amazing defensive plays (9 digs). Nathaniel Sattler '02, David Lee '01, and Daniel Levy '02 contributed to the team defense as backrow subs for the middle hitters.

MIT had trouble in the first two games offering up 13 serving errors and nine hitting errors in just game one. However, apart from those difficulties, the team played pretty well, and the games were close. In the following three games, MIT cleaned up its play by committing only 9 service errors. They also kept the attacks in, and capitalized on weaknesses in the Harvard offense by matching double blocks against Harvard's better hitters and limiting the setter's options with tough serves. It was a well earned victory after several weeks of intense IAP training sessions.

MIT nearly defeated the Crimson in 1993 when MIT made it all the way to semifinals of the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association Division III playoffs, but lost to Harvard on 3 different occasions that season by a score of 1715 in the rally-scoring fifth game of these best of five matches. That year, MIT defeated Eastern Mennonite in the quarterfinals of EIVA and lost to Juniata in the semifinals while Harvard won the Ivies (defeating Princeton) for the first time in over ten years.

On Saturday MIT began its conference play with a tough loss Concordia College. MIT came out for the match a little flat and Concordia played an excellent match.

MIT is currently 34 overall. The men's team will host two conference matches against Queens College and Hunter College on Saturday.