Springfield, Mass. - January 28, 2019 - The Springfield College men's volleyball turned in the best offensive showing in Division III volleyball to date this season as it hit at a .590 clip to sweep Regis in Blake Arena on Tuesday night by the set scores of 25-14, 25-9, 25-21.
Springfield, which was again ranked No. 1 in the country in the most recent American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division III National Poll for the 33rd-straight poll dating back to 2017, improved to 5-1, while Regis fell to 1-2.
Playing in Blake Arena for the first time this season, Springfield had 15 student-athletes total at least one kill as it produced 41 kills on 61 attempts while committing just five errors, marking the best team hitting percentage in a single match in Division III men's volleyball this year. Chris Parker (East Northport, N.Y.) tied a career-high seven kills, which came on an .875 hitting percentage, while Mike Neary (Ventura, Calif.) added six kills. Eli Irizarry Pares (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) registered six digs, four kills, and two aces and brother Eli Gabriel Irizarry Pares (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) recorded 18 assists, five kills, five digs, two aces, and two blocks. Matt Lilley (Stony Brook, N.Y.) chipped in 13 assists and three aces in the victory. Springfield finished the match with 10 aces and held Regis to a .015 hitting percentage.
The Pride wasted no time seizing control of the opening set as the hosts snagged an 8-2 lead following a 5-0 burst that was capped off by an ace from Neary. The Pride would push its advantage to 16-5 as the visitors burned their second timeout of the frame as Neary and Thomas Wollweber (Oceanside, N.Y.) sealed a block on the pin to key a 4-0 run. Springfield's lead would balloon to 22-10 when Eli Gabriel Irizarry Pares bounced an overpass and Wollweber closed the door on the first set with a kill in the middle for the 25-14 win. Springfield totaled 12 kills on 16 errorless attempts on the first set, hitting .750, behind four kills from Eli Irizarry Pares.
In the second set, Springfield would amass 16 kills on a .600 hitting percentage, including four from Eli Gabriel Irizarry Pares, while Regis was held to just two kills. Thanks to a pair of early aces from Eli Gabriel Irizarry Pares, Springfield snagged a 7-2 lead, only to have the visitors close within 9-7 following the Pride's second attack error of the night. Springfield would respond with seven-straight points, including a pair of aces from both Lilley and Eli Irizarry Pares to gain a comfortable 16-7 lead. Following a service error, Springfield would close out the match on a 9-1 burst, with Parker hammering a ball in system for the 25-9 win.
Plenty of new faces saw the court in the third set, as 13 different members of Springfield's squad got into the game. Back-to-back kills from Parker forced Regis into a timeout trailing 10-3, but the visitors would respond with a 6-3 push to close within 13-10. The Pride would score three of the next four points, as a kill from Astin Sesoko (Corona, Calif.) allowed Springfield to regain a five-point edge at 16-11. Regis would get no closer than two points and Jason Koehler (Lindenhurst, N.Y.) put away his first career kill to complete the 25-21 win.
Springfield will proudly serve as host to the International Volleyball Hall of Fame Morgan Classic this upcoming weekend as it welcomes Vassar, NYU, and Marymount. Springfield will kick things off against Marymount on Friday evening at 6 pm.