The nationally-ranked No. 10 MIT Men’s Volleyball team wrapped up regular-season play with a hard-fought 41-39, 25-20, 25-17 victory over North East Collegiate Volleyball Association (NECVA) New England Division foe Wentworth Institute of Technology on Friday night. The Engineers finished the New England Division standings with a ledger of 15-1 and an overall mark of 28-6 to earn their first NECVA New England title since 2007.
The Engineers maintained a slight edge during the early stages of the first set, but the Leopards stayed within striking distance as an MIT hitting error brought them within one (14-13). MIT responded with six straights points; however, Wentworth put together a 9-3 spurt to once again close the gap to one (23-22).
A strike by William B. Evans ’14 gave the hosts set point, but the Leopards registered the next three to reclaim the lead at 25-24. MIT capitalized on a kill from Kenneth M. Siebert ’14 and a hitting error to go in front. Following a service error that knotted the set at 26, eight lead changes and eleven set-point opportunities ensued.
In the second set the Engineers quickly established a 5-1 lead, but Wentworth battled back and evened the score at 11. MIT picked up six of the next nine points to gain some breathing room, yet the Leopards countered with a 4-1 spurt to tie the set at 18. The Engineers responded by closing out the game with a 7-2 run.
MIT inched out to a 7-6 advantage in the final set, but Wentworth rattled off seven of the next eleven points to capture the lead. A strike by Garrett L. Winther ’11 sparked the Engineers’ 14-4 match closing run.