Springfield, Mass. - March 9, 2017 - The Springfield College men's volleyball program headed into spring break on a high note as it earned a four-set win over nationally-ranked Marymount on Thursday night in Blake Arena. The Pride won by the set scores of 25-20, 22-25, 25-14, 25-13.
Springfield won its 21st consecutive match as the top-ranked team according to the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division III Coaches Poll is now 21-1 on the season. Marymount, which was ranked 9th nationally, dropped to 12-5.
Luis Garcia Rubio (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) totaled 41 assists in leading Springfield to a .425 hitting percentage, bolstered by a combined .611 clip in the final two sets. Luis Vega (Corozal, Puerto Rico) led all players with 13 kills to go along with eight digs and three blocks, while Ricardo Padilla Ayala (San Juan, Puerto Rico) added 11 kills at .500 clip with five blocks. Sean Zuvich (San Pedro, Calif.) provided a great spark off the bench with 10 kills on 15 errorless attempts, Eli Irizarry Pares (San Juan, Puerto Rico) delivered 10 digs, and Kyle Jasuta (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) totaled six blocks.
Even at five in the first set, Springfield put together a 3-0 burst capped off by a Trevor Mattson (Redlands, Calif.) swing in transition to give the hosts an 8-5 cushion. The Saints would battle back within one five different times, but Springfield regained a 21-15 advantage following consecutive Marymount attack errors as the visitors burned a timeout. Marymount would get as close as three before Vega hammered a ball out of the back row for the 25-20 win. Springfield hit at a .400 clip in the opening set, with Jasuta totaling three kills and two blocks.
Marymount earned a 8-5 lead to start the second stanza and Springfield called for an early timeout after a kill in transition. A Padilla Ayala ace would bring the Pride within 8-7, only to have the visitors pour on a 5-1 run, getting an ace down the line to force the hosts into their second timeout. The Saints lead ballooned to 17-10 after consecutive attack errors by Springfield, but a huge stuff by Padilla Ayala and Joseth Irizarry Feliciano (Adjuntas, Puerto Rico) brought the Pride within 22-20 as the Saints called a timeout. A kill from Padilla Ayala would bring Springfield within 23-22, but a kill and ace by Marymount handed Springfield its first set loss in Blake Arena this season.
Vega converted down the line to put Springfield ahead 6-2 to begin the third and the lead grew to 16-7 after Vega and Irizarry Feliciano combined for a huge stuff. The Pride didn't let up and cruised to a 25-14 win as it hit .533 in the frame, with Zuvich totaling a team-best four kills.
Leading 7-6 in the fourth, Springfield scored nine-straight points behind the terrific serving from Irizarry Feliciano, and used a block from Padilla Ayala and Jasuta to gain a 16-6 advantage. The Pride totaled 14 kills on 21 errorless attemps in the frame, and completed the four-set win when Padilla Ayala blasted a cross-court kill for the 25-13 triumph.
Springfield will resume action on Tuesday, March 21 when it heads to face in-state foe Emmanuel.