Ninth-ranked MIT performs sweep of Wentworth Institute in season opener
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- In the season-opener for both squads, No. 9 MIT defeated Wentworth Institute 25-16, 25-20, 25-15, in a non-conference match on Tuesday. Junior Ken Siebert produced a match-high 12 kills to go along with two blocks for the Engineers, while sophomore Sean Donahue paced the Leopards with seven kills and two blocks.
MIT inched out to a 13-10 lead in the first set, but Wentworth narrowed the gap courtesy of a hitting error and a kill from freshman Aris Bega, prompting a timeout by the Engineers. Following the break, the Cardinal and Gray generated an 11-3 run, including seven unanswered points, to make the score 24-15. A strike by Donahue kept the Leopards alive, but sophomore Chris Omahan replied with one of his own to win the set.
The second set was a back-and-forth affair until a pair of errors, in addition to a kill by sophomore Alex Klein and an ace from senior Matt Hohenberger, gave MIT a 16-12 advantage. Wentworth responded with its own four-point spurt as Donahue recorded a kill and collaborated with senior Tyler Moriarty for a block while sophomore Rami Akouri contributed an ace and a kill.
The Engineers picked up the next three points, but Bega earned a kill and ace that trimmed the Leopards' deficit to one (19-18). A pair of hitting errors, a kill from Siebert, along with a block by senior Patrick Vatterott and junior Paul Syta helped increase MIT's cushion to 23-18 before an exchange of points closed out the set.
In the final set, the Engineers crept out to an 11-7 lead, but Wentworth scored five in a row to claim the slim edge. MIT capitalized on a trio of errors in addition to a Moriarty ace and a block by Akouri and junior Brian Mann to go in front 12-11. Four consecutive miscues by the Leopards propelled MIT to a lead it would not relinquish as it put together a match-ending 14-3 run which was capped on a block by Klein and Vatterott.
Hohenberger registered six kills, five digs and two aces while Klein chipped in four kills. Syta got 26 assists, five digs, four blocks and two aces as freshman Brendan Chang collected 10 digs. Vatterott and sophomore Andrew Busse rounded out the blocking corps with four and two blocks, respectively.
Junior Ross Burdett notched six kills and four digs as classmate Mike Buonincontra led the way with five digs. Moriarty added 20 assists and five digs to Wentworth's cause.