Cambridge, Mass. — Four Cal Lutheran Kingsmen finish with double-digit kills in today's 3-1 victory over the MIT Engineers. The team extends their win streak to five and remain perfect on their spring break road trip, moving to 17-8 on the season.
The Kingsmen tallied 56 kills against the Engineers, their third highest total this season. Andrew Reina led the offense with 15 kills, also his third highest total of the season, and hit .267 on the evening. Mason Mercer added a season-high 11 kills of his own, while Patrick Rowe and Justin Dietrich added ten more apiece. Dietrich also led the defense with eight blocks, just one short of his season-high.
Looking at their toughest matchup thus far on the trip, neither team managed more than a four-point run in the first set. Although Cal Lutheran jumped out early 4-2 lead on kills by Rowe and Mike Campbell, MIT managed a scoring run of their own fueled behind three kills from Tavish Smith. Dietrich answered with a kill of his own to spark the Kingsmen's 7-2 run to knot things up at 19 apiece. The teams battled before the Engineers edged out the 25-23 set win on a kill by Skyler Kauffman. The loss is the first set the Kingsmen have allowed to an opponent in the last five games.
Equalizing the score, Reina led the march as the team never trailed in set two. He opened the scoring for the Kingsmen and notched five kills in the set. Although MIT pulled within one point at 22-21, Cal Lutheran locked the 25-21 win on errors by the Engineers and another decisive kill by Reina.
The Kingsmen continued their momentum into set three, overcoming a three-point deficit and taking the lead on an 11-4 late scoring run. Mercer and Dietrich sparked the rally as Cal Lutheran pushed to a 20-17 lead. MIT answered with three points off kills from Smith before falling 25-22 after Grant Nelson and Campbell went up for the conclusive block.
Cal Lutheran entered into set four with confidence and rolled the Engineers 25-13. Flustered, MIT committed seven errors in the set compared to just three by the Kingsmen. Cal Lutheran quickly sailed to a 20-10 lead and soon sealed the match behind kills from Reina and Nelson.
The Kingsmen look to complete their spring break sweep tomorrow, March 28, 2018, versus the Endicott Gulls at 3 p.m. PST.
Box Score: CLU 3, MIT 1
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Release by Christy Effendie, Assistant Sports Information Director