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No. 1 Men's Volleyball Outlasts Elms and Elmira

No. 1 Men's Volleyball Outlasts Elms and Elmira

Springfield, Mass. - February 16, 2019 - The Springfield College men's volleyball team picked up a pair of wins on Saturday in Blake Arena as it down Elms in four sets before capping off the evening with a straight-set sweep of Elmira.  

Winners of their last 12 matches, the Pride improved to 12-1 as the nation's top-ranked team in the most recent AVCA Division III National Poll.

Springfield will travel to battle rival New Paltz, ranked eighth in this week's national poll, on Wednesday for a 7 pm contest.

For the latest on Springfield College Athletics, follow the Pride on social media on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Fans can also download the Springfield "Front Row" mobile app, powered by PrestoSports, on iTunes and the Android Market.

 Springfield 3, Elms 1 (19-25, 25-20, 25-20, 25-21)

Springfield would regroup from dropping the first set to power past local-foe Elms College in four sets on Saturday afternoon.  Brennen Brandow (Manorville, N.Y.) was tremendous to led the Pride's efforts as he registered a career-high 19 kills at a .412 clip to go along with 10 digs and five blocks.  Kyle Jasuta (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) posted 11 kills, four blocks, and a pair of aces, and Eli Gabriel Irizarry Pares (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) was credited with 33 assists in helping Springfield hit .349.  Johjan Mussa Robles (Caguas, Puerto Rico) posted a team-best 13 digs and Eli Irizarry Pares (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) recorded 10 kills, six digs, two blocks, and two aces. 

For Elms, Jovanny Torres had 18 kills, Jeremy Torres added 11 kills, and Carlos Mercardo and John Dunphy combined for 42 assists as the visitors hit .207.  Antonio Delgago made 13 digs in the setback.

Elms would seize an early 10-5 lead to start the match following back-to-back aces, but Springfield would begin to find its rhythm offensively and pull within 16-15.  However, consecutive miscues by the Pride would allow the visitors to regain an 18-15 edge and force the hosts into a timeout.   Out of the break, Elms would tack on a 5-1 burst to have its lead balloon to 23-16 and a Springfield service error would give the Blazers a 25-19 win.  Both Brandow and Jasuta had four kills for the hosts, while Jovanny Torres totaled six of the Blazers 12 kills.  

A solo stuff from Brandow allowed the Pride to snag a 4-1 lead to start the second, but the visitors would score the next four points to take a 5-4 lead.  Springfield would eventually earn a 13-11 lead when Jasuta ripped an ace for force Elms into a timeout as part of a 3-0 burst.  Eli Gabriel Irizarry Pares later blistered an ace down the line at 21-16, and Mike Neary (Ventura, Calif.) bounced a ball down the line for set point as the Pride would even the match up after a 25-20 win. 

After Springfield scored the first two points of the third set, Elms rattled off five-straight points, thanks to a pair of blocks.  Trailing 10-7, the Pride scored three-straight points as Brandow would hammer a kill on a hard angle to knot the set at 10 as the Blazers burned a timeout.  Springfield would later put together a five-point burst to separate themselves at 16-12, with Neary elevating for a stuff block to highlight the surge.   Springfield, which totaled 18 kills at a .382 clip in the stanza, sealed the 25-20 win when Neary found a kill along the back line. 

A kill from Eli Irizarry Pares gave Springfield a 7-6 edge in the fourth, but the visitors put together a 4-1 run, as the Pride's third attack error of the set made head coach Charlie Sullivan whistle for a timeout trailing 10-8.  The visitors would push their advantage to 19-15 on another kill from Jeremy Torres, only to have Eli Irizarry Pares side out with a kill and team with Jasuta for a pair of blocks as part of a 8-1 burst to give the hosts a 23-20 lead.  Jasuta and Brandow would combine for a thunderous block at set point, and Brandow buried his seventh kill of the frame for the 25-21 win. 

Springfield 3, Elmira 0 (25-18, 25-15, 25-13)

In a sweep of Elmira, Springfield hit at a .417 clip and limited the Soaring Eagles to a -.044 hitting percentage on the night.  15 different members of the Pride saw action in the game, and Eli Irizarry Pares (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) led all players with nine kills, while Brennen Brandow (Manorville, N.Y.) turned in eight kills, six digs, and three blocks.  Kyle Jasuta (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) added six kills, three blocks, and two aces, and Eli Gabriel Irizarry Pares (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) was credited with 26 assists in the victory.

For Elmira, Matt Straney registered seven kills, Jeremy Best handed out 15 assists, and Landon Miller totaled three blocks. 

Even at 15-all in the first set, Springfield reeled off five-straight points, including a pair of kills from Eli Irizarry Pares and two aces from Eli Gabriel Irizarry Pares, to extend a 20-15 lead.  All told, Springfield would close the frame on a 10-3 surge en route to the 25-18 win as the hosts hit .333, led by four kills from Jasuta.

Brandow ripped a kill to give Springfield a comfortable 15-3 lead midway through the second set.  The Pride, which hit .526 in the frame, eased its way to a 25-15 win, with Eli Irizarry Pares putting away his fifth kill of the set for the 25-15 victory. 

With the score knotted at 2-2 in the second, Springfield rattled off a 9-2 run, with Matt Lilley (Stony Brook, N.Y.) coming up with an ace from the end line to force the visitors into a timeout.  Elmira would get no closer than six as it managed just four kills in the set, and the Pride's Troy Van Holt (Lindenhurst, N.Y.) ripped a cross court kill to conclude the sweep and the 25-13 third-set victory.