#2 SUNY New Paltz Battles #13 Men's Volleyball for 3-1 Victory

Senior Suyash Fulay
Senior Suyash Fulay

THE BASICS:

- Score: #2 SUNY New Paltz 3, #13 MIT 1 (25-22, 23-25, 25-18, 25-23)

- Records: MIT (18-7, 3-3 UVC); New Paltz (20-4, 4-1 UVC)

- Location: Cambridge, Mass. (Rockwell Cage)

- The Lead: In a closely played United Volleyball Conference (UVC) men's volleyball match, nationally-ranked No. 2 SUNY New Paltz emerged with a 25-22, 23-25, 25-18, 25-23 victory over No. 13 MIT on Saturday. Jake Roessler led all players with 18 kills to go along with a .364 hitting performance and three blocks for the Hawks. Junior Tavish Smith (Laguna Beach, Calif.) paced the Engineers with 15 kills.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- The opening frame was a back-and-forth affair as there were 11 ties and five lead changes. A kill by sophomore Jacob Gasparich (New Lenox, Ill.) gave MIT a 19-17 edge. However, after a New Paltz timeout the visitors put together an 8-3 run to claim the come-from-behind victory.

- The Engineers scored the first four points of the second set but the Hawks replied with a 15-5 run. MIT gradually chipped away at the deficit as three consecutive kills by Smith put it in front, 23-21. New Paltz quickly evened the score on Anthony Bonilla's kill and Nick O'Malley's ace. The hosts thwarted the comeback attempt courtesy of kills from Smith and senior Martin Krasuski (Aurora, Ill.).

- The Hawks claimed a 3-1 edge in the third set and maintained a small lead throughout the frame, eventually using a 5-1 spurt to pull away for a 25-18 win. Bradley Schneider accounted for the last two points as he registered a kill and an ace.

- New Paltz slowly built a 15-10 lead in the fourth set. A pair of errors along with a kill by sophomore Skyler Kaufman (Needham, Mass.) brought MIT within two. An exchange of points followed until a Smith kill in addition to a block by sophomore Yize Dong (Moraga, Calif.), Gasparich, and Smith narrowed the gap to 23-22. Roessler's kill resulted in match point but a Smith strike kept the Engineers alive. After their own timeout, the Hawks stopped MIT's late rally on a kill by Steven Woessner.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Krasuski posted 10 kills and three blocks as Gasparich recorded eight kills, a .583 hitting effort, and four blocks. Kaufman contributed seven kills while Dong dished out 36 assists. Senior Jordan Lucier (Torrance, Calif.) collected a match-high 14 digs as classmate Suyash Fulay (Wexford, Pa.) generated nine digs and three aces. Freshman Thomas Nelson (San Ramon, Calif.) rounded out the Cardinal and Gray with eight digs and two aces.

- Bonilla totaled 13 kills and nine digs as Woessner had 11 kills, a .500 hitting performance, and four aces. Matthew Grace and Nick Smith distributed 36 and 15 assists, respectively while Grace added 10 digs. Robert Nolan notched 11 digs as O'Malley recorded five blocks and three aces.

UP NEXT:

- Both squads take on non-conference foes in their next outings. MIT will travel to Endicott College on Tuesday, March 21 while New Paltz will host Hunter College on Saturday, March 25.

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