CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The nationally-ranked No. 13 MIT men's volleyball team ended its five-match skid by defeating Elms College, 25-20, 25-14, 25-14, on Thursday night. Freshman Jack Serrino (Glencoe, Ill.) registered 10 kills, a .500 hitting performance, two aces, and two blocks for the Engineers (14-7). Freshman Blake Fry (Natick, Mass.) led the balanced attack for Elms (3-15) as he posted four kills and added a block.
The opening set was closely played as it featured 13 ties and seven lead changes. With the score knotted at 15, MIT gained some breathing room courtesy of a kill by sophomore Martin Krasuski (Aurora, Ill.) and a hitting error. Elms replied by scoring four of the next five points, going ahead 19-18 on a kill from freshman Daniel Bondarovsky (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). A strike from sophomore Sean Kropp (Fairless Hills, Pa.) and a hitting miscue put the Engineers back in front; however, Fry's kill evened the score at 20. MIT responded with five straight kills to win the set. Serrino posted two kills while senior Alex Klein (San Diego, Calif.) chipped in three of his own during the late rally.
The hosts jumped out to a 9-2 advantage in the second stanza and eventually went up 24-11 on a block by senior Andrew Busse (Mount Prospect, Ill.) and freshman Andrew Hall (Lynnfield, Mass.). A trio of miscues extended the frame for the Blazers but a kill from Krasuski secured the victory.
MIT inched out to an 8-5 lead in the final frame; however, Elms picked up the next four points to take the slight edge. The visitors capitalized on two errors, a kill by senior Kevin Welsh (Wilbraham, Mass.), and a block from sophomore Qua'Sean Crowe (Stamford, Conn.) and freshman Kahlil Peters (Hartford, Conn.) to fuel the spurt. The Engineers countered with a 9-2 run, taking control of the set at 17-11. Despite the deficit, Elms continued to attack, coming within four (18-14) on a service error. This was as close as it would get as MIT rattled off seven straight points to wrap up the match.
Krasuski tallied 10 kills, six digs, and two aces while Busse finished with nine kills, a .571 hitting effort, and two blocks. Klein recorded seven kills and four digs as Kropp produced six digs and two aces. Junior Brendan Chang (Laytonsville, Md.) dished out 36 assists while sophomore Jordan Lucier (Torrance, Calif.) collected a team-high eight digs.
Junior Cristian Arroyo (Chicopee, Mass.) notched three kills and three blocks as Bondarovsky added three kills. Welsh compiled 12 assists and two blocks while freshman Gabriel Reis Levy (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) racked up eight digs. Crowe and Peters rounded out the blocking corps with three and two stops, respectively.
Next up for both squads will be tri-matches on Saturday, March 14. MIT will host United Volleyball Conference foe Vassar College and local rival Lasell College while Elms will take on No. 14 Wentworth Institute of Technology at New England Collegiate Conference opponent Daniel Webster College.