Providence, R.I. - January 23, 2016 - The Springfield College men's volleyball team defeated Lasell College in its third and final match of the Johnson & Wales Tip-Off Tournament at the Wildcat Center. The Pride won in four sets by the game scores of 25-21, 22-25, 25-19, 25-18.
Springfield, which is currently the top-ranked Division III team in the country according to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) National Coaches Preseason Poll, improves to 5-1 on the season, 3-0 against Division III teams.
Julian Welsh-White (Collingswood, N.J.) had a standout showing for the Pride in the middle, posting nine kills on 10 errorless swings to go along with six blocks, while Ricardo Padilla Ayala (San Juan, Puerto Rico) notched 10 kills at a .450 clip. Greg Woods (Middletown, Conn.) totaled a team-best 12 kills in three sets of action, Luis Garcia Rubio (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) led a Springfield attack that hit .406 in the match with 52 assists and nine digs, Jason Weedon (North Tustin, Calif.) led all players with nine digs.
Springfield never trailed in the opening set, with Woods leading the way with five kills. Holding a 20-18 lead, the Pride scored three-straight points to gain a five-point cushion which eventually led to a 25-21.
The Pride had its lowest offensive output of the day in the second set, hitting just .259 as a team. Even at 15 apiece after a kill by Woods, the Lasers put together a 5-1 surge to take a 20-16 advantage. A pair of kills from both Woods and Luis Vega (Corozal, Puerto Rico) brought Springfield back on top, 22-21, only to have Lasell score the final four points of the set, capped off by back-to-back blocks.
A balanced offensive attack that featured five players with at least two kills resulted in a .500 hitting percentage in a third set for Springfield. The teams were tied seven times throughout, the last coming at 14-all on a kill from Joseth Irizarry Feliciano (Adjuntas, Puerto Rico). The Pride faced a 19-18 deficit but closed out the frame with a 7-0 run, highlighted by two kills from Padilla Ayala and a pair of Welsh-White blocks for the 25-19 win.
The Pride scored the first three points of the fourth set and never trailed thanks to the strong play of Trevor Mattson (Redlands, Calif.), who produced six kills in the set. Leading 16-15, the Pride reeled off seven-straight points again, with Welsh-White and Mattson combining for a stuff at 23-15. The Pride hit .522 in the stanza to complete the four-set win.
Springfield will play again next Saturday when it travels to New York for a tri-match at Vassar with Ramapo beginning at 12:00 pm.