New York, N.Y. - February 13, 2016 - The Springfield College men's volleyball team continued its winning ways as it cruised past both New Jersey City and Hunter on Saturday afternoon. The Pride opened up the day with a 25-11, 25-8, 25-9 win over NJCU before besting Hunter by the scores of 25-12, 25-15, 25-16.
Springfield, which is ranked the top-ranked Division III team in the country according to the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) National Coaches Poll, improves to 13-1 on the season, 10-0 against Division III teams.
Winners of their last 12 matches, Springfield will now gear up for to host a showdown with Emmanuel on Wednesday, Feb. 17 in Blake Arena. First serve is 7:00 pm.
Springfield 3, NJCU 0 (25-11, 25-8, 25-9)
Springfield eased by NJCU as 12 different players recorded as least a kill in the three-set win. Springfield's starters played the first set before giving way to some new faces, and the group held New Jersey City to a -.174 hitting percentage. Greg Woods (Middletown, Conn.) totaled six kills at a .714 clip to pace the Pride, while Trevor Mattson (Redlands, Calif.) added six kills and a block. Luis Vega (Corozal, Puerto Rico) added three aces and a pair of kills, Eric Johnson (Tustin, Calif.) notched a team-best four aces, and both Jason Weedon (North Tustin, Calif.) and Billy De La Espriella (Northridge, Calif.) registered four kills apiece. Luis Garcia Rubio (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) and Mike Neary (Ventura, Calif.) combined for 18 assists to guide Springfield to a .415 hitting percentage.
In the opening set, Springfield raced out to a 8-1 lead, only to have NJCU battle back within 11-7 following three-straight Pride miscues. However, consecutive kills from Woods and three-straight aces from Vega put the Pride in control as it took the opener, 25-11. Woods finished with six kills and helped the Pride hit .444 as a team.
Mattson pounded all six of his kills in the second game as the Pride produced a .450 team hitting percentage. Even at 2-2 in the early going, Springfield rattled off seven-straight points to seize a 9-2 cushion. The Pride eased its way to the 25-8 win as Mattson delivered a solo stuff on set point.
The Pride wasn't threatened in the third set thanks to a 14-4 run to begin the frame which featured 10 errors by NJCU. Weedon had a team-best three kills in the frame, and Kyle Jasuta (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) hammered a kill on match point to complete the sweep.
Springfield 3, Hunter 0 (25-12, 25-15, 25-16)
Springfield once again put together a solid offensive performance, hitting .419 as a team en route to the three-set win over host Hunter. Vega dominanted from the pin, tallying 12 kills on a .667 hitting percentage to go along with 11 digs and three blocks. Woods produced 12 kills of his own, while Garcia Rubio handed out 34 assists for the Pride. Additionally, Eli Irizarry Pares (San Juan, Puerto Rico) was credited with 10 digs and Ricardo Padilla Ayala (San Juan, Puerto Rico) tallied six kills and two aces.
The Pride's offense was outstanding in the opening set, hitting at a .636 clip thanks to six kills from Woods. Springfield jumped ahead 15-5 after back-to-back kills from Woods and an aces from Julian Welsh-White (Collingswood, N.J.). Springfield would takes it's largest lead of the set after Hunter's fourth hitting error of the frame made it 25-12.
The second set featured eight ties, the last coming at 10-10. Woods sided out for the Pride and would later tack on an ace to put Springfield in control with a 15-10 cushion. Both Vega and Woods totaled four kills apiece in the second set as the Pride registered a .348 team hitting percentage.
Holding an 11-10 lead in the third, Springfield put together a 10-3 burst, featuring a pair of kills from Jasuta, to force the hosts into a timeout. Vega led the way with four kills in the frame and a triple block from Woods, Vega, and Jasuta sealed the 25-16 win.