Providence, R.I. - January 26, 2018 - The Springfield College men's volleyball team produced a straight-set victory over Lasell in their final match of the Johnson & Wales Tip-Off Tournament on Saturday. The Pride won by the scores of 25-16, 27-25, 25-15.
With the win, Springfield is now 4-1 and entered the match as the top-ranked team in Division III according to the latest AVCA National Coaches Poll. Additionally, the victory was the 400th in the career of head coach Charlie Sullivan, who in his 21st season, improved to 400-182 for a winning percentage of .687.
Behind the tremendous play of Eli Gabriel Irizarry Pares (Bayamon, Puerto Rico), Springfield's offense hit at a .358 clip as the sophomore setter totaled 30 assists and seven digs to go along with 11 kills on 13 errorless attempts for a .846 hitting percentage. Kyle Jasuta (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) racked up 11 kills while hitting .688 and Eli Irizarry Pares (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) chipped in eight kills and seven digs.
In the first set, Springfield totaled 16 kills as a team, coming at a .419 clip. The Pride broke open a one-point lead in the early going by using a 6-0 burst thanks to a pair of kills from both Eli Gabriel Irizarry Pares and Braden Tam (Hong Kong). Springfield would push its lead to nine and seal the 25-16 victory on Tam's fourth kill of the afternoon.
The Pride's offense accounted for 17 kills in the second set and needed some late heroics as the frame featured 16 ties and six lead changes. With Lasell owning a 24-23 lead, Springfield would answer with two-straight points on a kill from Eli Irizarry Pares and a block from Jasuta and Eli Gabriel Irizarry Pares to earn set point of their own. After a Springfield service error tied things at 26, Jasuta buried a kill and then teammed with Eli Gabriel Irizarry Pares for the set-clinching block.
Springfield raced out to a 6-2 advantage to begin the third set after Eli Gabriel Irizarry Pares ripped an ace, only to have the Lasers pull within 10-8 following a Pride attack error. However, Springfield responded with an 11-5 run, which was fueled by a pair of kills from Jasuta and Brennen Brandow (Manorville, N.Y.). That's all the cushion Springfield would need as it coasted to a 25-15 win, as Jasuta converted out of the middle for Springfield's 14th kill of the stanza.
Springfield will hit the courts again on Tuesday night for its home opener when it takes on Regis at 7 pm.