Springfield, Mass. - March 26, 2016 - The Springfield College men's volleyball team returned from a 17-day layoff to topple Daniel Webster and Sage in straight sets on Saturday afternoon in Dana Gymnasium.
The Pride, which is ranked second in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division III National Poll, improves to 23-2 on the year.
Springfield will continue its homestand when it takes on Baruch at 7 pm on Friday evening.
Springfield 3, Daniel Webster 0 (25-12, 25-16, 25-19)
Luis Garcia Rubio (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) led the Pride to its second-highest team hitting percentage of the year as Springfield hit at a .625 clip in the three-set win. Greg Woods (Middletown, Conn.) returned to the lineup on the right side and was dominant, delivering 13 kills at a .733 hitting percentage to go along with three blocks and two aces. Ricardo Padilla Ayala (San Juan, Puerto Rico) chipped in six kills on nine errorless attempts to go along with a match-best five digs, and Julian Welsh-White (Collingswood, N.J.) produced six blocks.
Springfield used an early 5-1 run, highlighted by a pair of aces by Welsh-White, to break a four-all tie and open up a 9-5 cushion in the first. Padilla Ayala blistered an ace to put the hosts ahead by a 15-8 score and the Pride doubled its lead, 20-10, when Woods bounced a ball in system. Springfield hit .625 in the set and Garcia Rubio capped off the 25-12 win with Springfield's sixth ace of the frame.
After falling behind 6-4 in the second set, Springfield used a 5-2 push as Padilla Ayala ripped a ball cross court in transition to give the Pride a 9-8 lead. The Eagles would battle back to knot things at 12-all, but Springfield benefited from five-consecutive Daniel Webster errors to take control of the frame with a 17-12 cushion. Woods sealed the win with a backrow kill, his fourth of the set, to give the hosts a 25-16 win. As a team, Springfield hit at a .667 clip in the stanza.
The Eagles took a 12-9 lead in the third on their only block of the match, only to have the Pride reel off seven-straight points, thanks to three blocks by Welsh-White and tough serving by Eric Johnson (Tustin, Calif.), to force the visitors into a timeout trailing 16-12. The Pride tacked on three-straight points out of break break to push the lead to 19-12 and didn't look back en route to the 25-19 win for the sweep. Jason Weedon (North Tustin, Calif.) was impressive in the third, totaling four kills and two blocks to pace the Pride attack.
Springfield 3, Sage 0 (25-18, 25-12, 25-10)
15 different players saw the court for the Pride, with eight having at least three kills, as Springfield produced a .475 team hitting percentage and eased its way to a three-set win over Sage.
Kyle Jasuta (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) and Woods each had a match-best six kills, while Garcia Rubio had three of the Pride's 14 aces.
Springfield jumped out to a 5-0 lead to start the game following a pair of early kills from Padilla Ayala, only to have Sage battle back to even things at 11-all following a Springfield attack error. The hosts responded with a 7-2 surge, capped off by consecutive aces from Garcia Rubio, to push the lead to 18-13. After the Gators closed within 20-17, the Pride poured on three-straight points to regain command, with an ace from Woods forcing the visitors into timeout trailing 23-17. Welsh-White hammered his fourth kill of the set on an overpass to complete the 25-18 win, as Springfield hit at a .429 clip for the game.
Woods crushed a ball in transition to give the hosts an early 5-3 cushion to start the second and opened up an 11-5 cushion on an ace from Woods. Springfield pushed its lead to 19-10 on a kill by Jasuta and the Pride continued to roll on back-to-back aces from Johnson at 23-11. Nick Rable (El Seguando, Calif.) ripped his first career kill to wrap up the 25-12 win, as Springfield totaled 14 kills, hitting .455.
After a huge block from Trevor Mattson (Redlands, Calif.) and Jonathon Rodriguez (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) put Springfield ahead 3-0 to start, the Gators answered back with a 4-0 surge to take the lead. However, Springfield regrouped with Rodriguez at the service line and it rattled off seven-straight points to earn a 10-4 lead. The Pride's lead ballooned to 13-5 on a Mattson ace down the line, and the hosts cruised to a 25-10 victory, hitting .562 behind four kills from Mattson.