Top-Ranked Men's Volleyball Bests No. 6 NYU and Mt. St. Vincent

Top-Ranked Men's Volleyball Bests No. 6 NYU and Mt. St. Vincent

Brooklyn, N.Y. - January 28, 2017 - The Springfield College men's volleyball team earned a pair of victories in New York City on Saturday afternoon while competing in a tri-match at the Brooklyn Athletic Facility.

The Pride opened the day toppling NYU in four sets before sweeping Mt. St. Vincent in its second outing of the day.  

Springfield, which was the top-ranked Division III team in the country according to the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Coaches Poll, improved to 6-1.  NYU, which vaulted up to sixth in the national rankings this week, fell to 3-1, while Mt. St. Vincent evened its record to 3-3.

Springfield will play its home opener next Friday evening when it takes on nationally-ranked Kean at 8 pm in the International Volleyball Hall of Fame Morgan Classic. 

Springfield 3, NYU 1 (25-16, 25-11, 24-26, 25-22)

Luis Garcia Rubio (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) led Springfield's offense to a .477 hitting percentage with 28 assists to go along with six digs.  Luis Vega (Corozal, Puerto Rico) led all players with 21 kills coming at an impressive .444 clip, while both Ricardo Padilla Ayala (San Juan, Puerto Rico) and Trevor Mattson (Redlands, Calif.) each tallied eight kills.

The Pride was dominant from the end line, totaling 12 service aces in the victory, with four different players registering at least two aces.  Garcia Rubio and Jonathan Rodriguez Lopez (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) each totaled three winners with their serves. 

Springfield raced out to a 10-5 lead in the opening set and never let the Violets get closer than four as the Pride benefited from five aces and hit at a .562 clip.  After NYU climbed with 14-10, the visitors put together a 5-1 push to take a commanding 19-11 lead and force the hosts into a timeout.  Springfield would eventually take the 25-16 win when Rodriguez Lopes coverted out of the middle.

The Pride put on an offensive show in the second set, producing a .800 team hitting percentage led by Vega's four kills.   After surging out to a 7-2 lead, Springfield never relinquished the lead, although NYU battled back within 15-10.  However, thanks to a seven-point service run by Tucker Evans (Midlothian, Va.), Springfield eased its way to a two-set lead with a 25-11 win.

Springfield's offense struggled in the third set, hitting just .167, but thanks to six service aces, the Pride was able to keep things close.   After NYU raced out to a 7-2 lead, Springfield clawed their way back an eventually took an 18-16 edge on a Jasuta ace.  The frame featured seven ties, the last coming at 24 all when a Padilla Ayala ace fought off set point to knot things at 24.  However, a service errorr and attack error by Springfield allowed the Violets to take the set, 26-24. 

The Pride came out focused in the fourth and snagged a quick 5-0 lead following a big swing from Padilla Ayala.  NYU would chip away at the lead, tying things up five different occasions, the last coming at 22-all on a solo block.  Springfield would get a critical sideout kill from Vega before a Padilla Ayala kill provided match point.  Garcia Rubio then painted a match-clinching ace down the sideline, the Pride's 19th of the match.

Springfield 3, Mt. St. Vincent 0 (25-17, 25-16, 25-14)

The Springfield College offense continued to operate at an efficient pace, producing a .493 team hitting percentage as Luis Garcia Rubio (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) and Mike Neary (Ventura, Calif.) combined for 35 assists.  Sean Zuvich (San Pedro, Calif.) totaled a match-best 11 kills, hitting .714, while Sergio Figueroa Velez (San Juan, Puerto Rico) registered 10 kills at a .818 clip to go along with five of Springfield's 13 aces.  

Holding onto a 12-9 lead to start the match, Vega provided the bookends of 7-3 surge that started with one of his five first-set kills and ended with a solo stuff to give the Pride a 19-11 cushion.  Springfield owned at a .432 hitting percentage in the opener, with both Vega and Zuvich totaling five kills to lead the Pride to a 25-17 win.

Springfield used another big run to break open the second, a set in which the Pride hit .474 as a team.  Owning an 8-5 cushion, the Pride put together a 9-4 burst which featured a pair of Figueroa Velez aces to force MSV into a timeout.  The Dolphins would get as close as five before Shaun Ermi (Rush, N.Y.) put away an overpass kill for the 25-16 win.

The Pride's offense had its best showing of the match in the third, recording 15 kills at an impressive .591 percentage, with Figueroa Velez providing five kills and two aces.  A 13-10 Springfield lead quickly ballooned with a 7-2 burst thanks to a pair of aces by Tucker Evans (Midlothian, Va.).  Springfield later wrapped up the three-set win when Jason Weedon (North Tustin, Calif.) manufacted a kill around the block for the 25-14 victory.