The men’s volleyball team competed in their fourth consecutive North East Collegiate Volleyball Association Championship Tournament this past weekend at Ramapo College. The team earned a berth into the tournament after finishing the regular season with a 9-2 record in the New England Division of NECVA. The winner of the tournament advances to the Molten Division III Final Four.
In the first round, the nationally-ranked no. 12 Engineers (25-11) faced no. 14 Hunter College. MIT got off to a slow start in the first two games with Hunter College playing with great intensity and producing a very formidable defense.
After falling behind two games to zero, the Engineers slowly took control of the match midway through the third game behind the stellar play of Michael Demyttenaere ’10 and Praveen Pamidimukkala ’08. MIT finally started to find its stride and picked up both its defense and serve receive, placing Hunter under more and more pressure. The Engineers fought back to take games three and four, and then closed out the match to complete the epic comeback, 3-2 (27-30, 25-30, 30-26, 30-25, 15-11).
The next day, MIT faced top seed no. 3 Vassar College. Although the team fought hard to keep each game close, Vassar eventually pulled away, winning the match 3-0 (30-27, 30-22, 30-22). Vassar went on to win the entire tournament, defeating Newbury College in the finals for their first ever NECVA Championship.
The team earned several awards at the end of the season. Pamidimukkala was selected to the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division III Men’s Volleyball All-America Second Team. This is his second honor as he was also a Second-Team pick in 2006, which made him the first All-America recipient in the program’s history. Pamidimukkala earned additional accolades as he was named to the NECVA All-Tournament Team, NECVA New England Player of the Year, and NECVA All-Conference First Team for the third year in a row. Ryan G. Dean ’08 was named to the NECVA New England All-Division 2nd Team.
MIT was honored with the NECVA All-Academic Award and recorded the highest GPA in the 39-team conference. Individually, Randolph H. Li ’09, Steven D. Ray ’08, Eric R. Reuland ’10, Dean, Eugene Jang ’09, Matthew Ng ’08, T. Scott Pollom ’09, and Philip M. Rogoz ’10 were named to the All-Academic Team. This was the most of any team in the conference.