MIT Ekes Out Four-Game Win After Rivier Setter Breaks Leg

Men’s volleyball rebounded from a second game loss to defeat Rivier 3-1 after the Raiders lost their starting setter to a broken leg during the match.

With the match tied 1-1 and the third game tied 30-30, Rivier’s (3-5, 2-1) starting setter Kevin Harrington fell to the ground and grabbed the bottom of his dangling right leg. The Engineers (9-1, 6-0) scored, but the referee disallowed the point.

After a 20 minute break during which Harrington was carried off on a stretcher, MIT took the next two points to win the game and then rolled to a fourth game victory that sealed the match.

Praveen Pamidimukkala ’08, coming off four stellar matches that earned him a national Player of the Week award, had an off night by his standards. He had 17 kills on 40 attempts, but committed an uncharacteristic 12 errors.

Rivier’s blocking was strong all night and contributed to Pamidimukkala’s struggles. The Raiders list five players over 6’5”, compared to just one active player for MIT above that height, and they seemed to focus their efforts on Pamidimukkala.

Ryan G. Dean ’08 and Eric R. Reuland ’10 had excellent nights with so much attention being paid to Pamidimukkala. Dean had 16 kills on 31 attempts with only three errors, good for a huge .419 percentage, and Reuland had 17 kills on 36 attempts with seven errors for a .278 percentage.

After winning the first game, MIT lead the second 16-11 and looked to be on their way to a 2-0 advantage. But Rivier’s blocking and MIT’s mistakes led to a 7-0 run that put the Raiders ahead 18-16, a lead they wouldn’t relinquish for the remainder of the game.

MIT’s hitting percentage for the second game was a lowly .054, while in their three wins they managed a .346 percentage. The difference came as a result of 12 hitting errors in the second game, compared to just 15 in the rest of the match.

The third game was extremely close throughout, with MIT never leading by more than four points. A 4-0 run by Rivier tied the game at 25, and the teams traded points until Harrington’s injury stopped play at 30-30.

After play resumed, Dean and Reuland each recorded a kill to quickly end the game.

The early part of the fourth game was competitive, with Rivier’s backup setter Zach Hansen performing admirably in Harrington’s place. With the game tied 13-13, MIT scored six of the next seven points to take a five point lead, and ensuring that they would not trail for the rest of the match.

The Engineers, ranked No. 10 nationally, host the MIT Invitational starting tomorrow at 5:00 p.m.