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No. 1 Men's Volleyball Defeats Rivier and Wells

No. 1 Men's Volleyball Defeats Rivier and Wells

Nashua, N.H. - February 23, 2019 - The Springfield College men's volleyball team defeated Rivier in four sets before pulling away with a five-set victory over Wells on Saturday at Rivier University.

Springfield, which is the top-ranked Division III men's volleyball program in the country in the latest AVCA Division III National Poll, has now won 15-consecutive matches this season and owns a 15-1 record.  

The Pride will return to Blake Arena for a Tuesday night match when it once again clashes with Rivier starting at 7 pm. 

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Springfield 3, Rivier 1 (18-25, 25-16, 25-22, 25-21)

Springfield rebounded from dropping the opening set to earn a four-set victory over host Rivier to begin their day.  Brennen Brandow (Manorville, N.Y.) led all players with 15 kills to go along with four digs and three aces, while Kyle Jasuta (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) added nine kills and two aces.  Eli Gabriel Irizarry Pares (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) handed out 38 assists and chipped in six kills, Eli Irizarry Pares (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) contributed 11 kills and seven digs, and Johjan Mussa Robles (Caguas, Puerto Rico) was credited with a match-best 14 digs.

Springfield fell behind 5-1 to start the match, and despite pulling within 15-13 on a kill from Brandow, the hosts scored five-straight points to take a commanding 20-13 lead.  The Pride would get no closer than six points as it dropped the25-18 decision in a frame where it hit just .107.

It was the Pride would jumped out to a fast start in the second set, seizing a 5-2 edge following an ace by Mike Neary (Ventura, Calif.).  Rivier would tie things up at 11 after a Springfield attack error, but the Pride would again build a three-point lead at 18-15 when Jasuta converted in the middle.  From there, Springfield closed out the set on a 7-1 burst, with Neary putting away the Pride's 13th kill of the set for the 25-16 win. 

Trailing 8-5 in the third, Springfield erupted on a 10-2 run that was capped off by a stuff block from Brandow at 15-10.  The Raiders would answer with a 5-1 burst of their own to knot the set up at 20-all, but the Pride scored five of the final seven points of the set, with Brandow putting away a pair of kills in the surge, to complete the 25-22 win.

Back-to-back aces from Brandow allowed Springfield to gain a 10-4 lead in the fourth set, and the first-year later buried a kill to have the visitors lead balloon to 17-10.  Rivier would then benefit from five Springfield errors to make it a 20-18 contest, but the Pride was able to hold on for the 25-21 win, with Chris Parker (East Northport, N.Y.) producing a solo block on match point.  

Springfield 3, Wells 2 (25-19, 25-21, 23-25, 21-25, 15-13)

Playing in its first five-set match of the season, Springfield pulled out a 3-2 win over Wells at Rivier to conclude their action on Saturday.  Six different members of the Pride recorded at least six kills, with Chris Parker (East Northport, N.Y.) totaling a team-best nine kills at a .571 clip to go along with four blocks.  Eli Gabriel Irizarry Pares (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) notched 43 assists, six kills, four digs, three blocks, and two aces, and Johjan Mussa Robles (Caguas, Puerto Rico) registered a career-high 20 digs.

Wells raced out to a 12-8 lead to start the match, but Springfield would answer with eight-straight points, with Jasuta ripping three aces to give the Pride a 16-12 edge.  Wells would get as close as one point on a pair of occasions, only to have Eli Gabriel Irizarry Pares deliver a kill for the 25-19 win.  

Springfield used a 3-0 run early in the second set to grab an 11-6 advantage, and pushed its cushion to 21-14 on a solo by from Braden Tam (Hong Kong).  Wells would make it interesting with a 7-2 burst to make it a 23-20 game, but the Pride used kills from Troy Van Holt (Lindenhurst, N.Y.) and Rafa Robert-Rodriguez (San Juan, Puerto Rico) to take a 25-21 victory. 

After Wells earned a 14-8 lead midway through the third, two consecutive aces from Matt Lilley (Stony Brook, N.Y.) capped off a five-point run to make it a one-point contest.  Wells would again build a three-point lead at 20-17, but an ace from Brennen Brandow (Manorville, N.Y.) tied the frame up at 23-all.  However, a Pride attack error and kill from Wells wrapped up the 25-23 win.  

The momentum stayed with Wells as they gained a 9-3 lead to start the fourth, but an ace from Eli Irizarry Pares (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) allowed Springfield to pull within 21-20.  However, the Pride committed back-to-back attack errors to close the set as Wells won 25-21 and forced a fifth set.

In the fifth, the Pride had eight kills and hit .376 as a team, while Wells was limited to a .059 hitting percentage. With the score tied at 12, which marked the 12th tie of the set, a service error and attack error by Wells gave the Pride match point.  After a sideout kill from Wells, Eli Gabriel Irizarry Pares put away a kill to wrap up the five-set win at 15-13.