CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In the first meeting between both programs, the MIT men's volleyball team defeated Marymount University, 25-15, 25-19, 25-16, on Wednesday night. Junior Alex Klein (San Diego, Calif.) paced the No. 5 Engineers (16-4) with nine kills in addition to generating a .538 hitting percentage. Freshman Bryce Ernsberger (Virginia Beach, Va.) totaled eight kills, five digs, and two blocks for the Saints (6-13).
Marymount jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the first set courtesy of back-to-back kills from freshman Matt Malloy (Thornton, Pa.). MIT responded with three consecutive strikes by senior Kenny Siebert (St. Louis, Mo.), igniting an 18-3 run which put the hosts in front, 20-9. Freshman Tomasz Ksiazkiewicz (Des Plaines, Ill.) stopped a string of nine unanswered points with a kill that eventually led to a 5-2 spurt by Marymount. An exchange of points ensued until blasts from senior Paul Syta (Fairport, N.Y.) and Klein gave the Engineers a 25-15 victory.
The Cardinal and Gray slowly established a 9-4 advantage in the second stanza following a pair of kills from junior Bradley Gross (Centreville, Va.). After their own timeout, the Saints registered three of the next four points to come within 10-7. However, a pair of miscues along with a Siebert kill gave MIT some breathing room. Marymount stayed within striking distance throughout the frame as it narrowed the gap to four on two occasions, the last time at 21-17 courtesy of a block by Ernsberger and Ksiazkiewicz. Freshman Sean Kropp (Fairless Hills, Pa.) thwarted the comeback attempt with a kill while a hitting error extended the Engineers' cushion. MIT recorded a hitting miscue of its own but then reached match point on junior Andrew Busse's (Mount Prospect, Ill.) kill. The Saints stayed alive following a service error but Busse produced another kill to close out the set.
Marymount claimed a 4-3 edge in the final frame courtesy of Ernsberger's kill but the Engineers responded with a 9-2 run to go ahead for good. Despite the deficit, the Saints continued to attack as they trimmed their deficit to four at three moments with the final time being at 16-12 on a service error. MIT countered with a 6-1 spurt that prompted a timeout by the visitors. Once action resumed, the Saints picked up the next two points courtesy of a kill by junior Brett Refner (Chandler, Ariz.) and a hitting error. The Engineers matched this with a Kropp kill and an ace from freshman Jordan Lucier (Torrance, Calif.) to move the score to 24-15. An Ernsberger strike extended the match; however, freshman Narindra Peaks (Voorhees, N.J.) clinched the win with a blast of his own.
Syta finished with 29 assists, six kills, six digs, and two blocks as Siebert posted six kills and four digs for MIT. Fellow senior Evan Wang (Saratoga, Calif.) dished out 10 assists while Busse recorded six kills on nine-errorless hitting attempts for a .667 performance in addition to four blocks. Freshman Martin Krasuski (Aurora, Ill.) notched eight digs, five kills, and an ace as Gross rounded out the front row with five kills. Sophomore Brendan Chang (Laytonsville, Md.) collected six digs while Lucier bolstered the defense with five of his own.
Freshman Bronson Summers-Torres (San Diego, Calif.) racked up 22 assists and eight digs for Marymount as Ksiazkiewicz totaled seven digs, six kills, and two blocks. Refner contributed five kills followed by four from Malloy.
Next up for MIT will be the Johnson & Wales University Invitational on Friday, March 14 and Saturday, March 15. Marymount returns to action on Wednesday, March 19 with a home match against Penn State-Altoona.