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Rivier Knocks Off No. 1 Men's Volleyball in Straight Sets

Rivier Knocks Off No. 1 Men's Volleyball in Straight Sets

Springfield, Mass. - February 26, 2019 - The Springfield College men's volleyball team was swept by visiting Rivier in Blake Arena on Tuesday night by the set scores of 25-20, 25-21, 25-14. 

The Pride, which was ranked No. 1 in the latest AVCA Division III National Poll for the 37th-consecutive poll dating back to 2017, dropped to 15-2 with the loss, while Rivier improved to 8-6.  The loss snapped Springfield's 46-match winning streak against Division III opponents, broke the Pride's 42-match home winning streak, marked the first time that Springfield has been swept by a Division III opponent since March 9, 2016 and was first time that the Pride was swept at home by a Division III team since February 14, 2014. 

Brennen Brandow (Manorville, N.Y.) totaled 10 kills and seven digs in the loss, while Kyle Jasuta (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) produced eight kills and a pair of blocks.  Eli Gabriel Irizarry Pares (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) notched 26 assists, seven digs, and four kills, and Johjan Mussa Robles (Caguas, Puerto Rico) registered a match-high 13 digs.  Springfield was held to a .143 hitting percentage in the setback.  

Rivier hit at a .349 clip in the win, with David Smith leading the way with 12 kills.  Pedro Campos directed the Raiders offense with 29 helpers and Dashuan Graham controlled the net with eight blocks. 

Springfield put away eight kills on their first eight swings, and forced Rivier into a timeout at 11-6 after Jasuta's third kill of the evening.   Rivier would battle back and take a 17-16 lead following the longest rally of the evening, which was finished off by Smith's fifth kill in the frame, as the Pride burned its first timeout.  Rivier continued its surge and would pull away for the 25-20 victory as they hit at a .519 clip in the set. 

After the hosts gained a 4-2 lead on a kill from Brandow in transition, Rivier erupted for a 6-1 burst as the Pride whistled for an early timeout.  The Raiders lead would grow to 10-5, but Springfield responded with a 6-1 push to even the score at 11 after Jasuta hammered a ball out of the middle.  The visitors answered back with a 6-2 run, as three-straight attack errors by the Pride allowed Rivier to open up a 17-13 cushion.  A block from Jasuta and Astin Sesoko (Corona, Calif.) brough the Pride within 20-19, but the visitors would end the set on a 5-2 run to take a 2-0 lead in the match.  The Pride hit .000 in the stanza, committing 12 attack errors. 

A kill from Brandow made it 2-1 in favor of the visitors in the early going of the third.  However, Rivier would pour on the pressue to seize a 17-6 advantage, hitting .524 in the frame, and cruise to a 25-14 win. 

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