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No. 1 Men's Volleyball Blanks Rivier In Straight Sets

No. 1 Men's Volleyball Blanks Rivier In Straight Sets

Springfield, Mass. - April 1, 2017 - The Springfield College men's volleyball team picked up a three-set victory against Rivier on Saturday afternoon Blake Arena.  The Pride won the match by the scores of 25-15, 25-14, 25-15.

Ranked the number one team in the nation in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division III National Coaches Poll for the 11th-consecutive week, Springfield earned its 24th-straight victory to improve to 24-1.  Rivier dropped to 17-11 with the loss.

Luis Vega (Corozal, Puerto Rico) led all players with 13 kills, hitting at a .706 clip, while Ricardo Padilla Ayala (San Juan, Puerto Rico) added 10 kills on 13 errorless attempts.   Trevor Mattson (Redlands, Calif.) chipped in seven kills and both Jonathan Rodriguez Lopez (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) and Joseth Irizarry Feliciano (Adjuntas, Puerto Rico) each delivered four blocks.  Eli Irizarry Pares (San Juan, Puerto Rico) recorded a match-best eight digs and Luis Garcia Rubio (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) handed out 40 assists.

The Pride, which leads the nation in hitting percentage (.429), also leads the country in opponents hitting percentage (.095), and held Rivier to a .000 clip on the afternoon.

After Springfield committed one of its nine first-set serving errors to bring Rivier within 13-11, a block from Rodriguez Lopez and Garcia Rubio fueled an 8-1 push which gave the hosts a 21-12 cushion.  The Pride, which totaled five team blocks in the set, coasted to a 25-15 win as it held the Raiders to a -.238 hitting percentage.  Vega was dynamic offensively in the frame, posting five kills to aid in the the hosts .524 clip.

Rivier registered consecutive aces to gain a 7-5 cushion, only to have the Pride respond with five-straight points behind the tremendous serving of Sergio Figueroa Velez (San Juan, Puerto Rico) to force the Raiders into a timeout.   Springfield continued to control the frame, earning a 20-10 edge when Vega converted in transition. Rodriguez Lopez later pounded a ball out of the middle at set point to give Springfield the 25-14 second set win as the Pride totaled 17 kills at a .696 clip, with Padilla Ayala notching kills on all six of his swings. 

Springfield jumped out to a 5-1 lead to begin the third and later used a 5-1 surge at 14-10, thanks to kills from Vega and Rodriguez Lopez.  Sean Zuvich (San Pedro, Calif.) completed the three-game sweep for the Pride as the hosts took the frame, 25-16. 

Springfield will play its final regular-season home match on Wednesday, April 5 when it hosts rival New Paltz in a rematch of last year's NCAA Division III National Championship.  First serve is scheduled for 6 pm.