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In its first home match of the 2011 campaign, the nationally-ranked No. 8 MIT men’s volleyball posted a 25-21, 25-19, 25-13, victory over Newbury College in a North East Collegiate Volleyball Association (NECVA) New England Division contest on Jan. 18. With the win, the Engineers improved to 4-0 on the year and in conference action while the Nighthawks saw their ledger dip to 1-2 overall and 0-1 in the league.

After MIT established a 4-1 lead, both sides traded points until three straight brought Newbury within one (11-10). The Cardinal and Gray picked up the next point courtesy of a service error, but Danny Kim and Dan Davison collaborated for a block to keep the one-point deficit. A 4-1 spurt, featuring back-to-back kills from Matt Hohenberger ’13, gave the Engineers some breathing room and moved the score to 16-12. A James Beck kill paired with an MIT hitting miscue narrowed the Nighthawks’ gap to two (18-16), which was maintained by both squads trading serves as late as 21-19. MIT went on to score four of the last six points to close out the set.

With the score knotted at three in the second stanza, the hosts mounted a 9-3 run to secure the lead. Newbury countered with five straights points, cutting its deficit to one (12-11). Following a timeout by MIT, the Engineers posted a 4-1 spurt, which was replicated by the Nighthawks to preserve the one-point margin (17-16). MIT responded by tallying six of the next seven points to seize control of the set. Beck pounded a pair of kills in an attempt to generate a late rally, but the Engineers’ Malcolm Bean ’11 sealed the game with two strikes of his own.

The early stages of the final set were closely played as a kill from Newbury’s Chris DeMarco evened the score at five. Sparked by a Hohenberger hit, MIT went on a 12-4 run to break open the game. After trading points, the Engineers rattled off five in a row as an ace by Tim Lee ’11 resulted in match point. A blast by Matt Talamantes extended the frame, however a blocking error clinched the victory for the Engineers.

Hohenberger finished with 13 kills and an ace as Bean posted seven kills and three blocks. Patrick Vatterott ’13 registered five blocks, five kills, and two aces while Ken Siebert ’14 notched seven kills and four blocks. Garrett Winther ’11 bolstered the blocking corps with four stops as Caine Jette ’11 recorded five digs, and an ace. Lee tallied 28 assists, 12 digs, and an ace for MIT.

The team then extended its winning streak to five following a 25-13, 25-11, 25-11 decision at NECVA New England Division foe Regis College on Thursday night. Jeremy Velazquez ’12 had a solid outing for the Engineers (5-0, 5-0 NECVA), as he tallied seven kills, five digs, three aces, and three blocks.

Over the weekend, MIT competed in the SUNY New Paltz Invitational Tournament and won the tournament with a 3-1 record over the two days. On Saturday, the Engineers swept No. 7 ranked Baruch College 3-0 and Elms College 3-0. On Sunday after a very tight loss 2-3 to hosts SUNY New Paltz, MIT bounced back with a huge 3-1 win over No. 14 Emmanuel College. The Engineers are currently 8-1.

The Engineers return home on Thursday, Jan. 27 to put their 8-1 record on the line when they face Emerson College at 7 p.m. in Rockwell Cage.