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Men...s Volleyball Wins 3-0 With a Balanced Attack

By Travis Johnson

For MIT Men’s Volleyball, Saturday’s match against Milwaukee School of Engineering was all about efficiency. Scoring on a remarkable 40 percent of their hits in the first game, MIT started quickly and coasted to a 3-0 win.

With both teams feeling confident after beating Wentworth earlier in the afternoon, MIT coach Paul Dill “tried to impress upon the team how important it would be for us to set the tone of the match early.”

MIT (13-4, 5-1 NECVA) did just that, taking a 19-9 lead on nearly mistake-free volleyball. The digs went straight to setter Jordan X. Wan ’06, who passed it to the hitters in rhythm, resulting in 14 kills in 25 attempts and only 4 errors in the first game.

The MSOE (2-7) offense, by contrast, was in disarray. With their usual starting setter Adam Friedman not playing, mistakes piled up early and the Raiders weren’t able to recover, giving MIT a 30-19 win.

The second game was much closer, as outside hitter Mike Mocchi played an excellent game both offensively and defensively, intimidating MIT with his blocks and keeping MSOE in the game with powerful hits.

However, other than Mocchi, the Raiders trouble with errors continued. Backup setter Kevin House could not get the ball to his hitters in positions they liked, causing many hits to go too long.

With the rest of the team struggling, Raiders offense turned to Mocchi on nearly every play. MIT encouraged this because it made their opponents predicable.

“We were putting them under a lot of pressure with our serve so their setter was forced into a position where he could only set one hitter (Mocchi),” Dill said after the game.

MIT was able to defend well down the stretch of the second game and take a 30-25 victory.

The third game looked like it would be a blowout, with all the energy and a 16-9 advantage on MIT’s side.

Freshmen hitter T. Scott Pollum had a good third game after sitting out the second with a bloody nose. Unlike the Raiders, MIT used a variety of hitters throughout, including Pollum, Praveen Pamidimukkala ’08, and Ryan G. Dean ’08. Dean and Pamidimukkala lead MIT with 10 kills each on the day.

Although the Engineers extended their lead to 24-16, some good blocking by MSOE and a few MIT mistakes brought the MCOE deficit to 4 at 28-24.

Wan finished the match from there with a tip over the net and a service ace, making the final tally 30-26.

Dean had a productive day with hitting: he converted 10 kills on 18 attempts with only one error, good for a 50 percent efficiency rating. He also had 4 assists, second to Wan’s 36.