Boston, Mass. - February 5, 2019 - The Springfield College men's volleyball team delivered a three-set sweep over in-state foe Wentworth on Tuesday night by the set scores of 25-17, 25-19, 25-21.
The Pride won its eighth-straight match to improve to 8-1 as it entered the evening once again ranked No. 1 in the the country in the most recent AVCA Division III National Poll. Wentworth fell to 5-2 with the setback.
Eli Irizarry Pares (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) led all players with 12 kills, while first-year Brennen Brandow (Manorville, N.Y.) turned in 10 kills and eight digs. Eli Gabriel Irizarry Pares (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) totaled 32 assists, eight digs, and four kills in pacing the Pride to a .287 hitting percentage, and Kyle Jasuta (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) added nine kills out of the middle. The Pride limited Wentworth to a .128 hitting percentage as the visitors owned a 40-22 edge in digs in the match.
Springfield raced out to a 7-1 lead to begin the match behind the tremendous play of Eli Irizarry Pares, as the senior outside wasted no time putting away six quick kills for the visitors. The Leopards responded with a 6-3 push of their own to pull within 10-7 following a Springfield attack error, but the Pride would answer with a 5-1 burst oto take a 15-8 advantage after Mike Neary (Ventura, Calif.) and Chris Parker (East Northport, N.Y.) combined for the block. Wentworth would get as close as 20-16, but Springfield closed out the frame on a 5-1 run, with Neary putting away Springfield's 15th kill of the frame to conclude the 25-17 win.
The Pride's offense struggled to find a rhythm in the second set, and despite holding an 11-8 lead on a Parker kill, Wentworth would force Springfield into a timeout at 13-all after an ace off the tape. Out of the break, Springfield would eventually regain a 17-14 cushion when Neary manufactured a kill off the block. The hosts would get within 19-18, but a huge sideout kill from Brandow and an ace from Parker made Wentworth burn a timeout of their own trailing, 21-18. Coming out of the timeout, Parker continued to pour on the pressure from the end line to keep the Leopards off balance, and Brandow ripped a pair of kills and added a block as part of a 4-1 spurt to seal the 25-19 win.
Springfield carried that momentum into the third set, seizing a 5-1 lead thanks to a huge stuff block from Eli Gabriel Irizarry Pares. The Pride's lead would grow to 11-6 following back-to-back kills from Brandow, but Wentworth would surge back to within 19-18. However, a Wentworth service error and overpass kill from Eli Irizarry Pares gave Springfield the cushion it would need at 21-18, and Jasuta later converted in the middle to wrap up the sweep, 25-21. In the third set, Springfield's offense accounted for 17 kills at a .414 clip.
Springfield will return home for a tri-match this Saturday when it hosts Sage and St. Joseph's (LI) beginning at 1 pm.