Springfield, Mass. - January 31, 2015 - The Springfield College men's volleyball team picked up straight-set wins over Vassar and Elms on Saturday afternoon.
Springfield, which was ranked third in the latest AVCA Division III National Poll, has now won its last four matches to improve to 4-2 on the season. The Pride will play again on Monday evening when it travels to play Emmanuel at 8:00 pm.
Springfield 3, Vassar 0
In its first match of the afternoon, Springfield toppled Vassar by the set scores of 25-17, 25-14, 25-23.
Sean Zuvich (San Pedro, Calif.) led the way with a season-high 11 kills at a .500 clip, while Angel Perez (Naranjito, Puerto Rico) added seven kills, hitting .462, to go along with six digs and four blocks. Shaun Ermi (Rush, N.Y.) registered a five kills on nine errorless attempts and a career-best six blocks. Keaton Pieper (Dallas, Texas) paced the offense to a .375 hitting percentage as he handed out 30 assists to go along with four digs, three blocks, and a pair of aces.
Christian Lizana (Dublin, Pa.) totaled a team-best seven kills for Vassar, who as a team hit just .029 in the contest. Zechariah Lee (Santa Clarita, Calif.) was credited with 19 assists and five blocks, while Matthew Knigge (New Egypt, N.J.) tallied five blocks and four kills.
Springfield's offense controlled much of the first set as it hit recorded 12 kills at a .556 clip, including four kills from Zuvich. After a back-and-forth start, the Pride broke open a six-all tie with a 6-2 push capped off by a big swing from Ryan Malone (Chicopee, Mass.). Vassar climbed within 17-14, only to have Springfield close out the frame on an 8-3 surge to take the opening frame, 25-17.
The Pride was never threatened in the second frame, out-hitting Vassar .529 to -.059. After racing out to a 9-3 lead to begin the set, the Pride controlled the net, with four players notching a pair of blocks each, as the hosts cruised to a 25-14 win.
The third set proved to be the closest as it featured nine ties. Even at 12 apiece, Springfield strung together three-straight points, with a solo stuff from Jason Mascoe (Uniondale, N.Y.) forcing the Brewers into a timeout. Vassar battled back to knot the match at 22 all, but coming out a timeout, Pieper put away an overpass and would later combine with Mascoe to give Springfield match point. On the ensuing play, Malone elevated for a solo block to complete the sweep.
Springfield 3, Elms 0
Springfield eased past Elms in straight sets in its second match of the day by the set scores of 25-14, 25-7, 25-18. As a team, the Pride hit .400 and registered a season-high 15 service aces.
Ricardo Padilla Ayala (San Juan, Puerto Rico) had a standout match for the Pride, totaling nine kills on 19 errorless attempts, hitting at a .474 clip to go along with five digs and three aces. Joseth Irizarry Feliciano (Adjuntas, Puerto Rico) posted six kills on a .750 hitting percentage while adding three blocks and two aces, and Eric Johnson (Tustin, Calif.) was credited with 28 assists and a team-best four aces.
Elms was limited to just six kills in the entire match, hitting -.271. Gabriel Reis Levy (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) notched three kills, three blocks, and an ace, while both Roger Conklin (Chicopee, Mass.) and Austin DeCosmo (Southwick, Mass.) each tallied five digs.
With a 9-7 lead in the first, Springfield rattled off five-straight points to grab control of the frame. Bolstered by a trio of blocks from Irizarry Feliciano, the Pride cruised to a 25-14 opening set win.
Padilla Ayala wasted no time taking over the second set, delivering two aces and a kill to help the Pride storm out to a 9-1 lead. Springfield hit a blistering .500 in the stanza, with Jason Weedon (North Tustin, Calif.) and Padilla Ayala each tallying four kills apiece.
Elms hung tough in the final set of the night, trailing 15-13 midway through the frame. However, Greg Woods (Middletown, Conn.) came off the bench to put together a six-point service run, highlighted by a pair of aces, as the Pride's lead ballooned to 21-13. Irizarry Feliciano closed out the afternoon with fifth kill of the set to seal the victory.