CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In its final home match of the regular season, the nationally-ranked No. 13 MIT men's volleyball team defeated Endicott College, 25-18, 25-22, 25-22 on Tuesday night. The victory extended the Engineers' winning streak to 12 and lifted their ledger 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 sophomore Alex Klein (San Diego, Calif.) sandwiched by a Gulls' miscue gave the Engineers some breathing room The visitors stayed within striking distance as they came within four on four occasions, the last at 18-14 courtesy of a serving error. MIT responded with a 5-1 spurt, prompting a timeout by Endicott. A kill by junior Carter Roche (Clifton Park, N.Y.) coupled with a hitting error extended the frame; however, an exchange of points ensued before a serving error gave the Engineers the win.
Strong serving by Klein that featured back-to-back aces helped MIT build an 11-4 margin in the second stanza. The Gulls slowly chipped away at the deficit as a strike by senior Matt Devendorf (Glastonbury, Conn.) 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 but an exchange of sideouts ensued that 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 in addition to a block by senior Patrick Vatterott (St. Louis, Mo.) and junior Paul Syta (Fairport, N.Y.).
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 as it narrowed the gap to one on six occasions with the last time being at 22-21. 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 as a hitting miscue ended the match.
Senior Matt Hohenberger (St. Louis, Mo.) registered a match-high 13 kills to go along with four digs and two aces for MIT. Junior Ken Siebert (St. Louis, Mo.) posted 11 kills while Klein finished with six kills and two aces. Sophomore Andrew Busse (Mount Prospect, Ill.) chipped in six kills as Vatterott recorded six blocks. Freshman Brendan Chang (Laytonsville, Md.) led the way with 16 digs while sophomore Chris Omahan (Mount Vernon, Ohio) notched six digs. Syta rounded out the Engineers with 38 assists, seven digs, and four.
Junior Josh Anderson (La Canada, Calif.) paced Endicott with nine kills followed by six from Devendorf. Roche compiled 23 assists and 12 digs while freshman Alex Wasik (Milford, Mass.) produced six blocks.
Next up for MIT will be a trip to No. 1 Springfield College on Saturday, April 13. Endicott, meanwhile, begins its postseason push by hosting Southern Vermont College in the semifinals of the New England Collegiate Conference Championship Tournament on Friday, April 12.