Boston, Mass. - March 21, 2017 - The Springfield College men's volleyball team returned from a 12-day layoff to topple Emmanuel College in straight sets on Tuesday evening. The Pride won by the scores of 25-14, 25-17, 25-15.
Springfield was ranked the top team in Division III for the 10th-straight week on Tuesday in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) National Coaches Poll. The Pride, who currently own the longest winning streak in all of college men's volleyball, earned its 22nd-straight victory to improve to 22-1.
Luis Garcia Rubio (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) directed Springfield to a .470 hitting percentage as he was credited with 28 assists. Ricardo Padilla Ayala (San Juan, Puerto Rico) stuffed his stat sheet, posting seven kills, five digs, and two aces and Luis Vega (Corozal, Puerto Rico) led all players with 10 kills at a .467 clip. Kyle Jasuta (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) added seven kills on nine errorless attempts and Eli Irizarry Pares (San Juan, Puerto Rico) led all players with seven digs.
In addition to having the best hitting percentage in all of college men's volleyball, Springfield also leads Division III in opponents hitting percentage, and held the Saints to a .030 clip on the night.
The Pride seized an early 6-2 lead following two-straight miscues from the Saints, and doubled its advantage at 10-5 when Padilla Ayala and Jasuta combined for a block. Vega heated up from the end line, blistering back-to-back aces for a 16-9 lead and the Pride built a 21-12 edge when Jasuta finished out of the middle in transition. Springfield wrapped up the first set, 25-14, with Vega totaling four kills to lead a Springfield attack.
Trevor Mattson (Redlands, Calif.) ripped a ball cross court for a 3-1 lead in the second, but the Saints would eventually tie things at 11 following a Pride attack error. Padilla Ayala ripped consecutive aces to push Springfield back on top, 14-11 and Mattson later cracked a kill off the block for a 23-16 lead. Padilla Ayala delivered a roll shot kill on set point, his seventh of the match, as the Pride earned the 25-17 victory.
Trailing 5-4 in the third, Springfield rattled off four-straight points, including back-to-back kills from Garcia Rubio, to force the hosts into a timeout. Sean Zuvich (San Pedro, Calif.) hammered consecutive kills to make it a 12-7 game and Vega finished in transition for the 18-9 cushion. Springfield sealed the straight-set win, closing things out with a 25-15 third-set victory.
Springfield will return to Blake Arena on Friday night when it hosts Baruch at 6 pm.