In its final home match of the regular season on Tuesday night, the nationally-ranked MIT men’s volleyball team defeated Endicott College, 25-18, 25-22, 25-22. The victory extended the Engineers’ winning streak to 12 and lifted their record to 24-11 on the year while the Gulls dipped to 20-9 on the season.
MIT raced out to a 7-2 lead in the opening set, but Endicott battled back as a serving error narrowed the gap to three (11-8). A pair of kills from Alexander C. Klein ’15 sandwiched by a Gulls’ miscue gave the Engineers some breathing room. Endicott came within four points on four occasions, the last because of a serving error. MIT responded to this with a 5-1 spurt, prompting a timeout by Endicott. A kill by Endicott’s Carter Roche coupled with a hitting error extended the frame; however, an exchange of points ensued before a serving error gave the Engineers the win.
Klein’s strong serving and back-to-back aces helped MIT build an 11-4 margin in the second match. The Gulls slowly chipped away at the deficit as a strike by Matt Devendorf brought them within one (16-15) and resulted in a timeout by the Engineers. Following the break, MIT picked up three of next four points and an exchange of sideouts gradually moved the score to 23-20. Endicott capitalized on a serving error and another Devendorf hit but its late rally was thwarted due a four-touch call and a block by Patrick J. Vatterott ’13 and Paul M. Syta ’14.
The Gulls established a 7-6 edge in the final frame courtesy of back-to-back four-touch violations by the Engineers. MIT replied with four straight points to capture a lead it would not relinquish. Endicott, however, stayed close and narrowed the gap to one on six occasions. A blast by Vatterott along with a hitting error gave the Engineers match point but a serving error kept the Gulls alive. This was as close as it would get and a hitting miscue ended the match.
Matthew P. Hohenberger ’13 registered a match-high 13 kills to go along with four digs and two aces for MIT. Kenneth M. Siebert ’14 posted 11 kills while Klein finished with six kills and two aces. Andrew A. Busse ’15 chipped in six kills as Vatterott recorded six blocks. Brendan S. Chang ’16 led the way with 16 digs and Christopher T. Omahan ’15 notched six digs. Syta rounded out the Engineers with 38 assists and seven digs.
Next up for MIT will be a trip to No. 1 Springfield College on Saturday, April 13.