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Top-Ranked Men's Volleyball Begins Division III Play With Sweeps of Johnson & Wales and Baruch

Top-Ranked Men's Volleyball Begins Division III Play With Sweeps of Johnson & Wales and Baruch

Providence, R.I. - January 25, 2019 - The Springfield College men's volleyball team swept both Johnson & Wales and Baruch on Friday in the JWU Tip-off Tournament as they opened up Division III play.

The Pride, which was again ranked atop the AVCA Division III National Poll, improved to 3-1 on the year with the two wins on Friday.

Springfield will conclude the tournament on Saturday at 12 pm when it faces Lasell. 

Springfield 3, JWU 0 (25-18, 25-19, 25-17)

 In the sweep of Johnson & Wales, Springfield hit at a .300 clip as Eli Gabriel Irizarry Pares (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) totaled 23 assists, four blocks, four digs, and three kills.  Brennan Brandow (Manorville, N.Y.) registered a team-best eight kills on a .325 hitting percentage, while Eli Irizarry Pares (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) turned in seven kills and five digs of his own.  Chris Parker (East Northport, N.Y.) produced six kills on eight errorless attempts in the middle and Kyle Jasuta (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) controlled the net with six blocks.  The Wildcats were limited to a .066 hitting percentage in the loss.

 In the opening set, Springfield jumped out to a 6-2 lead following a Wildcat hitting error, only to have the hosts storm back to even the frame up at 10-10 after a Springfield miscue.  A service error by Springfield would later pull JWU within 18-16, but the visitors block would then heat up and key a 7-2 surge as they cruised to a 25-18 win. 

Springfield surged out to an 8-3 advantage as the Pride manufactured a 6-1 burst to get the second set underway.  The hosts would battle back to 13-11 before a 4-0 run by Springfield, capped off by an ace from Jasuta, allowed the Pride to gain a 17-11 edge. Johnson & Wales would get no closer than two as Brandow hammered the kill for the 25-19 win.  As a team, Springfield accumulated 13 kills at a .444 clip in the stanza.  

Clinging to an 8-6 lead in the third, Springfield scored five-straight points, thanks to a pair of aces from Parker, to seize a 13-6 cushion.  The Pride would continue to cruise, pushing its lead to as many as eight points before Brandow completed the sweep with his third kill of the set.

 Springfield 3, Baruch 0 (25-17, 25-23, 25-16)

Eli Irizarry Pares (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) was dominant on the pin in the sweep as he erupted for 13 kills at an impressive .579 hitting percentage. Brennan Brandow (Manorville, N.Y.) chipped in 10 kills, Johjan Mussa Robles (Caguas, Puerto Rico) reached double digit digs with 10, and Eli Gabriel Irizarry Pares (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) delivered 28 kills and five digs.  Addtitionally, Kyle Jasuta (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) totaled six kills hitting .667 to go along with four blocks. 

Springfield got off to a tremendous start, scoring the first six points of the match thanks to a pair of early kills from Eli Irizarry Pares. Baruch would make a push and get within 15-14 before a pair of Mike Neary (Ventura, Calif.) aces keyed a 4-0 push to put Springfield ahead 19-14 as it would coast to a 25-17 win.

Trailing 9-7 in the second set, Springfield used three kills from Eli Irizarry Pares as part of a 7-2 burst to gain a 14-11 lead.  However, the Bearcats would not go away and gained a 20-19 lead, only to have two kills and a block from Jasuta fuel the Pride's late run for the 25-23 win. 

In the third set, Springfield's offense hit its stride as it erupted for 16 kills at a .542 hitting percentage. After four-straight points by Springfield made it a 10-5 contest, the Pride surged ahead 20-11 after a Baruch hitting error. Eli Gabriel Irizarry Pares sealed the evening with a kill for the 25-16 victory, a frame in which Brandow notched five kills.