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Volleyball Team Now Leading Conference

By Travis Johnson

STAFF WRITER

The MIT Men’s Volleyball team continued their magical season Saturday by sweeping their tri-match event and moving to an 11-0 record for the season thus far. The Engineers beat both Rivier and Elms College 3-0 and are the only remaining undefeated team in their conference.

The first match was against Rivier, the defending conference champions who came into the match 3-0 in the conference. Last year, MIT lost to Rivier three times. Coach Paul Dill said afterwards that “one of our goals for this season was to have a much better showing against this team.”

The first game was tight throughout, and MIT was down 28-29 in a first to 30 affair when Coach Dill called a timeout and made a defensive adjustment that allowed MIT to dig a Rivier spike and tie the match 29-29. They followed that with a service ace and a powerful block by Praveen Pamidimukkala ’08.

Rivier seemed disheartened by the sudden turn-around at the end of the first game, and MIT took advantage, grabbing the lead in the second game and cruising to a final score of 30-25.

The third game was a different story, hotly contested by both sides. The first half of the match was back-and-forth as neither team was able to hold the serve. MIT found themselves behind 14-16 when a botched play led to a desperate serve-like shot from the baseline that fell on the Rivier side and excited both the crowd and the Engineers, who went on to win the game 30-27 and clinch the match.

MIT played a typical error-free match; they only made nine hitting errors and had a hitting average of .388, meaning about 40 percent of their hits resulted in a point for MIT. That efficiency helped them pull out a close contest.

After defeating Rivier, MIT dominated Elms College 30-17, 30-18, and 30-17. They play again tonight against Lasell in duPont gymnasium.