Springfield, Mass. - March 24, 2017 - The Springfield College men's volleyball team earned a three-set victory over visiting Baruch College on Friday night in Blake Arena. The Pride claimed the match by the scores of 25-19, 25-14, 25-17.
The top-ranked team in American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division III National Coaches Poll for the 10th-straight week, Springfield earned its 23rd-straight win to extend the longest winning streak in all of college men's volleyball. The setback dropped Baruch to 7-14.
Luis Garcia Rubio (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) totaled 38 assists as he led Springfield to a .425 hitting percentage, marking the 14th time this season the Pride eclipsed the .400 mark. Luis Vega (Corozal, Puerto Rico) led all players with 14 kills, hitting .571, to go along with five digs and three aces, while Ricardo Padilla Ayala (San Juan, Puerto Rico) added 12 kills at an impressive .733 clip. Trevor Mattson (Redlands, Calif.) totaled eight kills on 12 errorless attempts, Eli Irizarry Pares (San Juan, Puerto Rico) notched eight digs, and Joseth Irizarry Feliciano (Adjuntas, Puerto Rico) led all players with four blocks.
The Pride, which leads the nation in hitting percentage (.425), also leads the country in opponents hitting percentage (.099) and held an opponent to a negative hitting percentage for the fourth time this year as Baruch hit -.052.
Tied at 9-all in the opening set, Springfield put together a 6-2 surge, using a block from Padilla Ayala and Jonathan Rodriguez Lopez (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) to earn a 15-11 cushion. After Baruch climbed within 18-16, Springfield strung together five-straight points, getting an ace by Kyle Jasuta (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) to gain a 23-16 edge. Springfield would eventually take the frame, 25-19, as it held the Bearcats to a -.130 hitting percentage while Mattson totaled five kills on eight errorless swings.
Padilla Ayala ripped a kill to give the hosts a 9-5 lead to start the second set, only to have Baruch battle back within 11-9, backing the Pride burned a timeout. Out of the break, Springfield poured on a 10-2 run, highlighted by back-to-back aces from Tucker Evans (Midlothian, Va.), as its lead ballooned to 21-11. Mattson sealed the 25-14 win, hammering a ball cross court as the Pride totaled 17 kills at a .600 clip the frame thanks to six kills apiece from Vega and Padilla Ayala.
Trailing 3-2 in the third, Springfield rattled off five-straight points, with consecutive aces by Vega making the visitors call a timeout. The Pride would continue to control the set from the end line, getting three more aces from Sergio Figueroa Velez (San Juan, Puerto Rico) to gain a 12-5 advantage. The Bearcats would get no closer than five and Vega bounced an overpass on match point to complete the sweep.
Springfield will hit the court again next Friday when it hosts Rivier at 6 pm in Blake Arena.