Springfield, Mass. - January 31, 2020 - Going up against its first nationally-ranked opponent of the season, the Springfield College men's volleyball team swept Wells in Blake Arena on Friday night. The set scores were 25-23, 25-20, 25-17.
Springfield, which was ranked No. 2 in this week's AVCA Division III National Coaches Poll, is now 5-1, while Wells, who was No. 8, slips to 8-2.
Matt Lilley (Stony Brook, N.Y.) led the Pride to a .567 team hitting percentage, the second-best in the nation this year for a three-set victory, as he handed out 36 assists. Brennen Brandow (Manorville, N.Y.) was tremendous on the pin, totaling 20 kills on a .643 hitting percentage, while Jarrett Anderson (San Jose, Calif.) pounded 15 kills at a .619 clip on the right side. Johjan Mussa Robles (Cagaus, Puerto Rico) was credited with 15 digs in the victory.
Caden O'Loughlin had a team-best 12 kills for Wells, which finished the night hitting .230. Josh Undari handed out 27 assists and Joe Zimmerman had four digs and a pair of aces.
In the opening set, O'Loughlin ripped a kill off the block to give the visitors a 15-12 lead as Springfield called for a timeout. Wells would push their lead to 23-18 following a Springfield service error, only to have Brandow side out to fuel a set-ending 7-0 surge which gave Springfield the 25-23 win. Lilley was instrumental during the burst with his efforts from the end line, and the Express committed back-to-back attack errors down the stretch to conclude the set. The Pride hit .464 in the frame, with Brandow totaling eight kills for the hosts.
Holding a 9-6 lead in the second, Springfield was able to open up a 16-8 cushion after a block by Liam York (Kailua, Hawaii) and Stiven Topalli (Pogradec, Albania), which forced the visitors into a timeout. Springfield's lead would balloon to 20-12 when Brandow hammered a kill off the block and Anderson put away his ninth kill of the night for the 25-20 win. Springfield's offense totaled 12 kills on 17 errorless attempts in the set, good enough for an impressive .706 hitting percentage.
It was a back-and-forth start to the third, as it featured 10 ties and six lead changes before Springfield broke open a 10-all tie with a 6-1 surge that featured two kills from Brandow and pair of blocks from Brandow and Thomas Wollweber (Oceanside, Calif.). The Pride cruised from there as Anderson hammered a kill to complete the 25-17 win and wrap up the sweep in a set with the Pride hit .591 thanks to a combined 13 kills from Anderson and Brandow.
Springfield will host another tri-match on Saturday with SUNY Poly and Lasell beginning at 1 pm.
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