Fullerton, Calif. - January 13, 2018 - The Springfield College men's volleyball team earned their first win of the 2018 campaign as they defeated Hope International in straight sets on Saturday night. The Pride won by the scores of 25-19, 25-9, 25-13.
Opening up the season in California for the eighth time in the last nine years, Springfield improved to 1-1 on the year. The Pride, which is No. 1 in the country in the latest AVCA Division III National Coaches Poll, rebounded after previously dropping a four-set match at Concordia Irvine earlier in the day.
Springfield's offense was dominant as it racked up 40 kills at a .413 clip, while HIA was limited to a -.041 hitting percentage on the night.
10 different Springfield players recorded at least one kill, with Kyle Jasuta (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) totaling a match-high eight kills to lead the way. Sean Zuvich (San Pedro, Calif.) added seven kills, Sergio Figueroa Velez (San Juan, Puerto Rico) notched seven digs, and the duo of Mike Neary (Ventura, Calif.) and Eli Gabriel Irizarry Pares (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) combined for 33 assists.
Zuvich bounced a ball down the line in transition to give the Pride an 11-6 cushion, and Ricardo Padilla Ayala (San Juan, Puerto Rico) converted out of the back row at 16-10 as HIA burned a timeout. A kill from Billy De La Espriella (Northridge, Calif.) pushed the Pride's lead to 22-12 an Springfield would coast to the 25-19 first-set victory. Springfield's offense produced 18 kills at an impressive .583 clip, with six players having at least a pair of kills, with Joseth Irizarry Feliciano (Adjuntas, Puerto Rico) and Zuvich each registering four kills.
Springfield made quick work of the Royals in the second set, storming out to a 15-3 lead and cruising to a 25-9 victory, thanks to four kills from Jasuta. In the third, Springfield gained a 15-5 advantaged after Kenny Lawrence (Longwood, Fla.) blistered a kill down the line and the Royals 19th attack error of the match sealed the 25-13 win.
Springfield will play in its home opener on next Saturday when it hosts a tri-match with Baruch and Lasell starting at 1 pm.