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Top-Ranked Men’s Volleyball Closes Out Regular Season With Sweep of MIT

Springfield, Mass. – April 13, 2013 – The Springfield College men’s volleyball team concluded its regular season with a three-game sweep over MIT on Saturday afternoon in Blake Arena. The Pride won by the set scores of 25-19, 25-22, 25-17.

Springfield, who was ranked No. 1 in the nation this week, improves to 29-3 on the season and is riding a 23-match winning streak. The Engineers, who were ranked 13th in this week’s national poll, drop to 24-12.

The Pride will wait to see its postseason fate as it hopes to earn one of three at-large berths to the NCAA Division III Men’s Volleyball Championship, which will be hosted April 26-28 at MIT. The nine-team field will be announced at 8:30 pm on the national selection show which will air on Sunday evening.

John Coen led Springfield with a match-high 12 kills, while Mike Pelletier added nine kills. Luis Vega had another outstanding match, registering eight kills at a .500 clip to go along with nine digs and four aces. Greg Falcone posted a match-high five blocks and Nick Ferry was credited with nine digs as well. Springfield hit .395 in the win, with Mike Becker handing out 25 helpers.

For MIT, Matt Hohenberger had a team-best 11 kills, while both Ken Siebert and Andrew Busse had seven kills each. Paul Syta delivered 35 assists and Brendan Chang registered a match-high 10 digs. The Engineers hit .245 on the day, as Springfield held a 9.5-0.0 edge in total team blocks.

Both teams were tremendous on the offensive side of the ball to start the match, as MIT evened the first set at 10-all after the match’s first hitting error. Springfield used a 5-1 surge, capped off by a Vega ace, to open up a 15-11 lead that it would never relinquish. MIT got as close as three at 19-16 on a Busse kill, but Springfield closed out on a 6-3 spurt, with Falcone’s ace sealing the set, 25-19.

The Engineers played scrappy defense to start the second game, jumping out to a 5-1 lead on Alex Klein’s second kill of the frame. Springfield battled back to tie the match of five different occasions before a Pelletier solo block finally allowed Springfield to take its first lead at 18-17. The Pride stretched its lead to three and earned set point on a thunderous swing by Vega out of the backrow, and Falcone gave the Pride a two-set advantage with a swing out of the middle.

The third set featured 12 ties and five lead changes as the teams battled back-and-forth to begin the frame. After Hohenberger hammered a kill to give MIT a 13-11 lead, Springfield used a game-changing 8-1 run to open up a 19-14 lead. Vega keyed the spurt with a pair of aces, and after a sideout kill from Siebert, Springfield closed out the match scoring six of the final eight points to wrap up the sweep.