New Paltz, N.Y. - February 20, 2019 - Competing on the road for the first time in over two weeks, the Springfield College men's volleyball team picked up a four-set win over rival New Paltz on Wednesday night in the Hawk Center. The Pride won by the scores of 25-20, 25-21, 31-33, 25-20.
Springfield, ranked No. 1 in the country for the 36th-consecutive AVCA Division III National Poll dating back to 2017, improved to 13-1 on the season. The loss dropped the 8th-ranked Hawks record to 9-4.
Kyle Jasuta (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) was dominant in the middle as he terminated 12 kills at a .786 clip, while Eli Irizarry Pares (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) added 10 kills. Brennen Brandow (Manorville, N.Y.) totaled 10 kills, nine digs, four blocks, and three aces, and Johjan Mussa Robles (Caguas, Puerto Rico) chipped in nine digs. Eli Gabriel Irizarry Pares (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) was credited with 39 assists in leading Springfield to a .300 team hitting percentage.
New Paltz committed 26 service errors in four sets and hit .198 as a team. Aaron Carrk led all players with 14 kills, Nick O'Malley added 12 kills and Matthew Grace delivered 48 helpers.
Clinging to a 7-6 lead in the early going of the match, Brandow blistered back-to-back aces to help the Pride seize an 11-6 lead. The advantage would grow to 18-13 when Brandow delivered a solo block, and Mike Neary (Ventura, Calif.) put away a kill down the line at 23-19 as the hosts burned their second timeout of the frame. Neary would later elevate for a stuff block for the 25-20 win in a set where the Pride's offense hit at a .500 clip.
Even at 13 in the second set, Springfield took advantage of four New Paltz miscues to earn a 17-14 cushion, but the hosts would battle back to pull within 21-20 following a Pride service error. The Pride would eventually take the set 25-21 and Eli Irizarry Pares came up with two big kills down the stretch in a frame where the Pride hit .444.
A kill from Neary allowed the Pride to own a 13-9 edge in the third, and a big kill from from Brandow at 23-21 made it seem as though the Pride was destined for a three-set sweep on the night as the Hawks whistled for a timeout. However, out of the break, New Paltz would storm back and eventually take the 33-31 decision.
In the fourth, the Pride raced out to an 8-4 lead following a kill from Chris Parker (East Northport, N.Y.), but the hosts would climb back within 16-15. Following a Hawks attack error, Brandow uncorked a critical ace, and another New Paltz attack error gave the Pride some breathing room at 19-15. Springfield would not let the Hawks get any closer than two points and the visitors concluded the 25-20 win following New Paltz's 29th attack error of the night.
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