CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In a back-and-forth five-set thriller, No. 8 MIT emerged with a 25-18, 16-25, 25-19, 16-25, 15-11 victory over No. 6 UC Santa Cruz to claim its first MIT Men's Volleyball Scramble Tournament championship on Saturday. The Engineers (24-5) defeated Hunter College (25-11, 18-25, 25-22, 25-18), Bard College (25-18, 25-16, 25-14), and Southern Vermont College (26-24, 25-18, 25-18) before picking up their second five-set win over the Banana Slugs this season. Senior Paul Syta (Fairport, N.Y.) was named Tournament MVP while classmate Kenny Siebert (St. Louis, Mo.) was tabbed for All-Tournament Team honors.
Siebert posted 12 kills, a .400 hitting performance, and nine digs in the opener with Hunter. Freshman Martin Krasuski (Aurora, Ill.) registered 11 kills, a .556 hitting percentage, and five digs as Syta tallied 31 assists, nine kills, a .500 hitting effort, and five digs. Junior Alex Klein (San Diego, Calif.) recorded nine kills and two blocks while classmate Andrew Busse (Mount Prospect, Ill.) contributed four kills, three blocks, and two aces. Sophomore Brendan Chang (Laytonsville, Md.) collected eight digs, followed by six from freshman Jordan Lucier (Torrance, Calif.). Senior Evan Wang (Saratoga, Calif.) rounded out the squad with 18 assists and four digs.
Freshman Sean Kropp (Fairless Hills, Pa.) paced MIT's balanced attack with 10 kills in the sweep of Bard. Junior Tyler Nolan (Sayville, N.Y.) chipped in six kills and two aces as Klein added four kills. Syta totaled 13 assists, six digs, and two aces while Wang dished out 13 assists as well. Chang led the way with 10 digs as Lucier produced four digs and two aces.
Klein opened up action against Southern Vermont on Saturday with 10 kills as Siebert had nine and a .421 hitting performance. Freshman Aaron Zalewski (Buffalo Grove, Ill.) connected on seven of his nine errorless hitting attempts while Krasuski also had a seven-kill outing. Syta compiled 30 assists, 10 digs, six kills, and two blocks as Busse recorded six kills and three blocks. Chang amassed 18 digs while Wang finished with 14 assists and six digs.
Krasuski powered the Engineers with 17 kills versus UC Santa Cruz as Siebert racked up 13 digs, 11 kills, four blocks, and two aces. Zalewski and Busse both registered seven blocks while Zalewski totaled 10 kills. Syta generated 33 assists, 12 digs, and five blocks as Wang distributed 11 assists. Chang gathered 13 digs while Lucier bolstered the back row with 11 digs.
MIT returns to action on Saturday, April 12 when it makes its debut at the United Volleyball Conference (UVC) Championship Tournament hosted by No. 11 Nazareth College. The Engineers, first-year members in the UVC, secured the third seed will take on nationally-ranked No. 7 Stevens Institute of Technology in a quarterfinal match slated for a 1:00 p.m. start.