Boston, Mass. - February 14, 2017 - The Springfield College men's volleyball team hit at a remarkable .545 clip behind a combined 30 kills from Luis Vega (Corozal, Puerto Rico) and Trevor Mattson (Redlands, Calif.) as it cruised to a straight-set win over Wentworth on Tuesday evening. Springfield won by the set scores of 25-22, 25-12, 25-20.
The Pride, which was once again voted the top-ranked men's volleyball program in Division III in this week's American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) National Poll, improved to 11-1 with the win, while Wentworth, which was ranked fifth in the national poll, dropped to 7-3.
The Pride, who currently leads all of college men's volleyball with a .430 team hitting percentage, was paced by 15 kills from both Vega and Mattson, with Mattson's total marking a career-high as he produced a .667 hitting percentage in the win. Luis Garcia Rubio (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) totaled 39 assists and seven digs, while Ricardo Padilla Ayala (San Juan, Puerto Rico) chipped in nine kills of his own. Sergio Figueroa Velez (San Juan, Puerto Rico) had four of the Pride's seven aces of the night, and Kyle Jasuta (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) registered a team-best three blocks.
After Mattson opened up the match with consecutive kills for the visitors, Wentworth responded with a 6-1 push, taking advantage of four Springfield miscues, to force the Pride into an early timeout facing a 6-3 deficit. The Leopards advantage would grow to 10-6 after consecutive aces, but a 6-2 surge by the Pride knotted the set at 12-all. Springfield would call for its final timeout of the frame trailing 18-15 following consecutive errors, but out of the break, Padilla Ayala and Vega each produced three kills apiece to fuel a 7-1 run which gave the Pride a 22-19 cushion. Jonathan Rodriguez Lopez (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) later buried a ball in system out of the middle for a 25-22 first-set victory, a set in which the Pride totaled 20 kills at a .533 clip, led by nine kills from Vega.
The Pride earned an 11-8 advantage to start the second, getting a big block from Padilla Ayala and Jasuta on the pin as the hosts called for a timeout following consecutive attack errors. Springfield would keep the pressure on out of the break, pushing the lead to 20-9 when Vega chipped a kill off the block in transition. The Pride coasted to a 25-12 victory as it totaled 12 kills on 20 errorless attempts for a .600 hitting percentage.
Mattson delivered a pair of early kills and combined with Jasuta for a block to allow the Pride to storm out to a 5-0 lead in the third as Wentworth called for a timeout. Springfield maintained a 17-13 cushion, and after the Leopards closed within 17-15 on an overpass kill, Mattson muscled a kill through the block and Jasuta followed with an overpass kill of his own to give the Pride a three-point edge. Consecutive aces from Figueroa Velez pushed Springfield's lead to 22-16, and Padilla Ayala sealed the win, bouncing a ball cross court in transition for the 25-22 triumph.
The Pride will return home for a tri-match on Saturday when it hosts Wells at 2 pm and faces 12th-ranked Lasell at 6 pm in Blake Arena.