In a hard-fought non-conference men's volleyball match, nationally-ranked No. 11 MIT emerged with a 22-30, 33-31, 30-27, 30-25 victory over Endicott College. With the win, the Engineers improved to 23-4 overall while the Gulls fell to 15-14.
Endicott raced out to an 11-6 lead in the opening game and maintained its advantage as each side traded points. MIT was able to generate a three-point spurt that narrowed the margin to two (15-13). The Gulls ended the rally with three consecutive points of their own which gave them enough of a cushion to secure the win.
In the second game, Endicott built a small lead that it held throughout most of the frame. Trailing 21-20, back-to-back strikes by Eric R. Reuland '10 and Ryan G. Dean '08 gave the Engineers their first advantage of the night. Each side traded points until the Gulls went ahead 25-24. MIT then went on a four-point run, but Endicott posted a pair of points that brought the score to 28-27. Coming out of their own timeout, the Engineers notched game point, however, the Gulls recorded the next three points and forced another timeout. A kill by Praveen Pamidimukkala '10 and blocks from Michael Demyttenaere '10 and Dean once again put MIT at game point (31-30). Endicott promptly called a timeout and went on to earn the ensuing point as hit by Tech sailed out of bounds. The Engineers bounced back as they registered the next two points, sealing the victory on a block by Reuland.
MIT established an early 7-4 advantage in the third game, only to be erased by a four-point run, sparked by strong serving from the Gulls' A.J. Witkofsky. The game was tightly played as it featured seven lead changes until Endicott went ahead, 21-19. The Gulls extended their margin to three (25-22), but a tip by Pamidimukkala sparked a seven-point run by the Engineers. Endicott was able to cut the deficit in half, but a kill from Demyttenaere stopped the late rally.
As in the first game, the Gulls built a small lead which they held as late as 17-14 in the final frame. Strong blocking by MIT helped it tally seven unanswered points and go ahead for good at 21-17. Endicott came within one point (23-22) as it capitalized on several miscues by the Engineers. Following a timeout, MIT posted three points with Reuland recording a kill and a block. The Gulls continued to attack as they cut their deficit in half (26-24). A service error returned the ball to the Engineers and Reuland once again gave his squad some breathing room with a kill. Endicott picked up one more point before MIT reached match point and then closed out the contest with a strike from Reuland.
Reuland finished the night with a career-high 20 kills to go along with three blocks and an ace. Pamidimukkala notched 25 kills and 12 digs while Thomas S. Pollom '09 posted 13 kills and seven blocks. Dean recorded his first double-double of the season on 14 digs and 10 kills as Demyttenaere registered four blocks. Philip M. Rogoz '10 had a solid outing as he tallied a career-high 61 assists, four blocks, and an ace.
This Saturday, MIT will compete in a tri-match with Wentworth Institute of Technology and hosts Emmanuel College.
Tenth conference win seals title
Last Saturday at MIT, the Engineers took the first contest of their tri-match with a 30-25, 26-30, 33-31, 30-26 victory over conference foe Newbury College. With the win the MIT men's volleyball team raised its North East Collegiate Volleyball Association (NECVA) New England Division record to 10-0 en route to its first regular-season title since joining the league in 2004. No. 3 Carthage College swept Newbury College, 30-20, 30-18, 30-22 and in the second match of the day they handed the Engineers their first home loss of the season with a 30-14, 30-24, 30-22 victory.
With a season-high 24 kills, Pamidimukkala surpassed the Institute mark for kills in a career which was previously 1,265. He also posted 10 digs and two aces as Pollom tallied 14 kills and four blocks. Rogoz had a solid outing for the Engineers (22-4) as he finished with 58 assists, 13 digs, and two aces. Reuland contributed 16 kills, 12 digs, and a team-high seven blocks while Demyttenaere bolstered MIT's front row with four blocks. Dean registered 11 digs and seven assists as Matthew Ng '08 collected 17 digs. Eugene Jang '09 rounded out Tech's defensive efforts with 10 digs.
In the final match of the day, Reuland led MIT's defense with 10 digs and three blocks as Pamidimukkala posted 13 kills and eight digs. Dean added seven kills to Tech's cause while Rogoz recorded 24 assists.