Top-Ranked Men's Volleyball Sweeps Endicott, Rallies Past Stevenson

Springfield, Mass. - February 19, 2016 - The Springfield College men's volleyball team picked up a three-set win over Endicott College before rallying past Stevenson in five stats on Saturday.

The top-ranked Division III team in the country in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) National Coaches Poll, Springfield improves to 16-1 on the season, 13-0 against Division III teams. 

Springfield will play again on Wednesday, Feb. 24 when it travels into Boston to play Wentworth for a 7 pm tilt.

Springfield 3, Endicott 0 (25-19, 26-24, 25-19)

Trevor Mattson (Redlands, Calif.) had a dominant game on the right side for Springfield, totaling 10 kills, six blocks, and six digs, while Kyle Jasuta (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) added 10 kills and five blocks of his own, hitting at a .571 clip.  Jason Weedon (North Tustin, Calif.) chipped in nine kills and four blocks, and Mike Neary (Ventura, Calif.) led the Springfield offense to a .364 hitting percentage as he handed out 38 assists to go along with six digs.

Troy Riorden (Fairport, N.Y.) led the Gulls with 10 kills, John Osborne (Freehold, N.J.) added nine, and Alex Wasik (Milford, Mass.) totaled five kills and three blocks.  Cameron Little (San Diego, Calif.) was credited with 22 assists, and Ryan Healy added four digs.

After the Pride took an 8-4 lead to start the match, the visitors reeled off five-straight points, highlighted by a pair of aces from Riorden, to take a 9-8 lead. The Pride answered back with three-consecutive points to regain an 11-9 cushion on a Jasuta kill in transition, only to have Endicott put together an 8-4 push to force the Pride into a timeout trailing 17-15.  Out of the break, Springfield answered with a 10-2 surge to close the set, sealing the 25-19 win with consecutive aces from Tucker Evans (Midlothian, Va.).

Springfield struggled to find its rythm in the second set and found itself trailing 13-8 midway through the frame.  The Pride used a Weedon kill to close within 13-10, but the visitors capitalized on three Springfield miscues to have its lead balloon to 19-12.  Springfield made a push back, putting together a 11-3 run to knot the set at 23 all following three-straight Endicott attack errors, featuring a pair a blocks by Shaun Ermi (Rush, N.Y.). The teams traded points until a kill by Weedon in transition gave Springfield set point and a huge block by Mattson and Julian Welsh-White (Collingswood, N.J.) completed the comeback.

The Pride stormed out to a 7-4 lead after a big swing from Mattson in transition, and would later take an 11-7 lead on an Endicott error.   The Gulls answered with a 6-2 run, getting a kill down the line by Riorden to claim a 13-12 lead.  A Springfield attack error kept Endicott ahead 17-16 before Mattson hammered a ball to jump start a 6-0 run that put Springfield ahead 22-17 following a kill out of the middle by Jasuta.  Springfield would later complete the sweep, 25-19 to win its 14th-straight match.

Springfield 3, Stevenson 2 (22-25, 25-27, 25-19, 25-14, 15-5)

After dropping the first two sets, Springfield rallied to win the final three games to pick up an important win over nationally-ranked Stevenson.  The Mustangs were ranked 8th in the latest AVCA Division III National Poll.

Luis Vega (Corozal, Puerto Rico) led all players with 17 kills, hitting .345, to go along with 11 digs, a career-best six aces, and three blocks.  Trevor Mattson (Redlands, Calif.) provided a great spark off the bench, tallying 12 kills at a .500 clip, while Ricardo Padilla Ayala (San Juan, Puerto Rico) added 12 kills of his own.  Luis Garcia Rubio (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) posted 53 assists in the win, leading the Pride to a .372 hitting percentage.

Three players from Stevenson recorded double digits in the kill column, with Jason Gardner (York, Pa.) leading the way with 13.  Landon Shorts (York, Pa.) added 12 kills, and Patrick Schulyer (Harrisburg, Pa.) registered 11 to go along with seven digs.  Rob Wingert (Hanover Township, Pa.) ran the Mustang offense with 43 assists and five blocks. 

The Pride earned a 4-2 lead on an ace by Vega to start the match, but it was short lived as the Mustangs established its block and took an 11-8 lead following five early Pride attack errors.  Springfield would answer back behind the serving of Vega, as another two aces and a block by Julian Welsh White (Collingswood, N.J.) and Padilla Ayala put the Pride on top, 15-13.  The visitors responded with four unanswered points after three miscues by the Pride as the hosts burned its final timeout facing a 17-15 deficit.  Springfield would manage to tie things at 19 one final time on a Padilla Ayala ace, but the Mustangs block came through, posting two more stuffs to fuel a 3-0 burst which put the visitors ahead for good.  Springfield was held to just a .065 hitting percentage in the game as Stevenson won, 25-22.

Stevenson carried the momentum into the second set, racing out to a 5-1 lead following another kill by Shorts. The visitors didn't let up, pushing its lead to 13-6 thanks to another kill from Shorts.  However, Springfield answered back with a spirited rally, eventually evening the set at 21 after Mattson hammered a ball in transition.  The Pride would later earn set point on monster block by Mattson and Welsh-White at 25-24, but the visitors scored the final three points of the set, using a tip kill by Schuyler to win 27-25.

In the third set, Springfield earned a 12-9 lead following four-straight Stevenson attack errors.  The Pride pushed its lead to 15-10 on a Tucker Evans (Midlothian, Va.) ace and the visitors would burn their second timeout of the set after Padilla Ayala, Garcia Rubio, Joseth Irizarry Feliciano (Adjuntas, Puerto Rico) combined for a huge triple block at 19-13.  The visitors would get within 20-16 on a backrow kill by Jason Gardner, but the Pride pulled away down the stretch, with Vega's third ace of the match to give the Pride a 25-19 win.  Springfield's offense started to come alive and hit at a .455 clip in the set.

Kyle Jasuta (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) set the tone for the fourth set when he put an overpass away to give Springfield a 3-0 lead.  The first-year later buried a ball in transition to put the hosts up 11-6, forcing the Mustangs into a timeout.  Springfield put together a dominant performance, hitting at a .538 clip, as it led from wire-to-wire for the 25-14 victory to force a fifth set.  Jasuta was tremendous in the frame, totaling four kills and two blocks to pace the hosts.

In the fifth, four-straight Mustang hitting errors allowed the Pride to go up 7-2, with Welsh-White delivering a solo block to give the Pride a five-point cushion.  Springfield took an 8-3 lead at the switch on a kill from Mattson and forced the visitors into a timeout following back-to-back aces by Vega at 10-3.  Padilla Ayala gave Springfield match point with his 12th kill of the night and a Stevenson service error two points later completed the Pride's comeback with a 15-5 win.