HOBOKEN, N.J. -- Tenth-ranked Stevens Institute defeated fifth-ranked MIT 3-1 in the United Volleyball Conference regular season finale for both teams.
Stevens (13-7, 7-4) took down MIT (20-5, 8-3), 25-17, 26-24, 18-25, 25-23, to clinch the sixth seed in the upcoming UVC championship on April 12 and 13 which will be held at Nazareth. Stevens tallied 15 blocks as a team, compared to eight for the Engineers.
The Ducks breezed through the first set and hit .469 as a team on 17 kills in 32 attempts with just two errors and never trailed after a 6-6 tie. Junior Daniel Smith ended the set with a kill as part of his 12-kill effort on the afternoon to go along with seven total blocks.
In the second set, Stevens trailed 5-0 and remained down until Smith put down back-to-back kills to knot the game at 16-16 and forced MIT to call a timeout. After the break, MIT went on a 4-1 run to go back up 20-17 but kills from sophomores Chris Vaughan and Alexander Carpenter deadlocked the set back up at 23-23. The Engineers scored the next point to force the set, but Carpenter and sophomore John Eddins combined on a block for another tie. Stevens tallied the next point and won the set on another block assist from Carpenter and junior Kevin Aeckerle.
MIT never trailed in set three, as it hit .290 – best in the match for the Engineers – while the Ducks hit at just a .079 clip.
In the clincher, Stevens stormed out to an 11-5 advantage, but MIT crept back in to a 12-9 difference which forced the Ducks to call a timeout. Out of the break, Stevens put together a 4-2 run and went back up by five at 16-11. MIT continued to battle and came all the way back to a 20-20 tie and the conference foes traded points until Vaughan registered a kill at 24-23 for match point which the Ducks earned on an attack error from MIT.
Vaughan paced all players with 17 kills and swung at a .500 clip with seven digs and four blocks. Carpenter registered seven total blocks to go along with nine kills, while Aeckerle handed out 49 assists with five digs and three blocks.
Eddins added 10 digs and six blocks, and freshman Gabe Shankweiler recorded 14 kills and seven digs. Junior Dylan Schlosser led Stevens with 15 digs.