Men's Volleyball Eases Past Elmira and Newbury

Springfield, Mass. - March 28, 2015 - The Springfield College men's volleyball eased past Elmira and Newbury in straight sets on Saturday afternoon in Blake Arena.  The Pride bested Elmira by the set scores of 25-16, 25-20, 25-13 before picking up a 25-10, 25-16, 25-17 win against Newbury.

Springfield, which was ranked fifth in the country in this week's AVCA national poll and second in the East region in this week's NCAA poll, is now 17-6 on the year.  Elmira, ranked 11th nationally this week is now 17-11, while Newbury drops to 8-13.

The Pride will hit the road to play Emmanuel on Wednesday, April 1.  First serve is set for 7:00 pm.


Springfield 3, Elmira 0

Greg Woods (Middletown, Conn.) tallied a match-high eight kills to go along with four digs and three blocks, while Ricardo Padilla Ayala (San Juan, Puerto Rico) registered seven kills at a .500 clip to go along with three aces.  Keaton Pieper (Dallas, Texas) handed out 24 assists in the win, Ryan Malone (Chicopee, Mass.) was credited with a match-best seven digs, and Joseth Irizarry Feliciano (Adjuntas, Puerto Rico) tied a career-high with seven blocks.

For Elmira, Mike Ellison totaled five kills and five digs, while Erik Griffin chipped in five digs, four kills, and an ace.  The Soaring Eagles were held to a -.060 hitting percentage in the match as they committed 23 attack errors.

In the opening set, Springfield snagged an early 7-4 lead on an Padilla Ayala overpass kill, however, the Soaring Eagles got within 11-10 on a triple block from Griffin, Andrew Johnson, and Dylan Kuhn.  From there,  it was all Springfield as the Pride took advantage of six Elmira errors as the Pride poured on a 10-2 surge to earn a 21-12 lead. Irizarry Feliciano hammered a ball out of the middle to wrap up set as the Pride picked up a 25-16 win.

The Pride's offense struggled to begin the second set, and Elmira benefited from five early Springfield errors to take a 8-6 lead.  Springfield would eventually tie it up at 12 on a Padilla Ayala ace and snagged a 15-13 lead on a kill from Perez.  After the Pride's lead grew to 19-16, the Soaring Eagles answered with a 3-1 push to climb within 20-19, but Padilla Ayala heated up from the end line, ripping a pair of aces to put Springfield ahead 23-19.  Irizarry Feliciano and Woods closed the door on the set with a thunderous block to complete the 25-20 win.

Springfield raced out to a 7-2 lead on a Perez and Irizarry Feliciano stuff and forced the Soaring Eagles into a timeout at 12-6 after Pieper put away an overpass.  The hosts lead ballooned to 16-7 thanks to a backrow kill from Perez and they didn't look back as a big swing from Padilla Ayala gave Springfield the 25-13 win.  Elmira committed 11 attack errors in the final set, with Irizarry Feliciano collecting four blocks.

Springfield 3, Newbury 0

The Pride hit .493 in the win over Newbury as five different players recorded at least six kills.Jason Weedon (North Tustin, Calif.) led all players with 11 kills at a .529 clip to go along with five digs and three blocks, while Ryan Malone (Chicopee, Mass.) chipped in 10 kills and five digs.  Sean Zuvich (San Pedro, Calif.) registered eight kills, Shaun Ermi (Rush, N.Y.) chipped in seven kills, and Nate Landis (Telford, Pa.) delivered six kills and four blocks for the Pride.  Luis Garcia Rubio (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) delivered 35 assists and Tucker Evans (Midlothian, Va.) recorded four aces.

Newbury was held to a .031 hitting percentage in the match, with Danny Tiner leading the way with six kills.  Michael Holihan handed out 16 assists, and Chin Yin Li was credited with three kills and two aces.


The Pride opened up the match by putting pressure on the Nighthawks from the end line, and Evans ripped the Pride's third ace of the early going to put the hosts up 9-5.  After the visitors sided out, the Pride poured on an 11-0 run and breezed to a 25-10 win. Springfield hit .400 in the frame, with Malone leading the way with four kills.

With the score even at eight in the second, the Pride used a pair of Zuvich aces to earn an 11-8 cushion.  Newbury would stay within striking distance until a block from Garcia Rubio and Landis pushed the lead to 19-15 as the visitors called for timeout.  Out of the break, Springfield rattled off five-straight points and closed out the game on a block by Landis and Weedon.

In the third, Zuvich ripped a kill off the block to put the Pride ahead 7-3, and following a Newbury timeout, the Pride put together a 4-1 run capped off by another Evans ace.  The Nighthawks would get no closer than five as Springfield produced 19 kills at a .536 clip in the frame, much in part to six kills from Weedon, his last sealing the win at 25-17.