March 11, 2009
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - With a 30-14, 30-19, 30-25 victory over Johnson & Wales University, the MIT men's volleyball team extended its winning streak to six while improving to 22-10 on the year. The Wildcats' ledger dipped to 5-11 following Wednesday's non-conference tilt.
MIT enjoyed a small cushion early in the first game, holding an 11-9 lead after a kill by Johnson & Wales' Sean Lauro. The Engineers responded with a 19-5 run to capture the frame, during which they rattled off eight unanswered points.
In the second stanza, the Wildcats established a 9-6 advantage. MIT tallied four straight points, capped by a strike from Scott Pollom to take the lead. Johnson & Wales registered the next two points to go up, 11-10. An error by the visitors sparked an 11-2 run that resulted in a comfortable 21-13 margin for the Engineers. This was as close as it would get for the Wildcats as MIT cruised to the win.
A service error and a kill from Peter Yanakiev helped bring Johnson & Wales within one (7-6) in the final frame. Sparked by back-to-back strikes by David Thomas, the Engineers mounted an 11-5 run to break open the game. The Wildcats battled back, narrowing the gap to two (22-20) on Lauro's kill and Robert Slough's ace. Each side exchanged points until MIT picked up two out of the next three for a 28-24 edge. A block by Yanakiev and Slough extended the set, but a Thomas kill coupled with a Pollom and Randolph Li block sealed the match for the hosts.
Pollom paced the blocking corps with eight stops to go along with eight kills and three aces. Thomas notched 10 kills and six blocks while Michael Demyttenaere contributed eight kills. Garrett Winther tallied a match-high 13 kills in addition to seven digs. Eugene Jang collected eight digs as Tim Lee finished with 36 assists, eight digs, and two aces.
Mark Garlock and Lauro both totaled nine digs for the Wildcats while adding three and five digs, respectively. Yanakiev registered six kills and five digs as Eric Minnich posted six kills.
MIT returns to action on Tuesday, March 17 when it travels to Harvard University. Next up for Johnson & Wales will be a home tri-match against Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) foes Albertus Magnus College and Emerson College on Saturday, March 14.