Springfield, Mass. - January 20, 2018 - Playing Division III competition for the first time this season, the top-ranked Springfield College men's volleyball team eased past visiting Baruch and Lasell in straight sets in a tri-match at Blake Arena on Saturday. Springfield opened the day with a 25-14, 25-8, 25-13 win against Baruch before toppling Lasell, 25-12, 25-10, 25-13.
Springfield, which was ranked No. 1 in the initial AVCA Division III National Coaches Poll, improves to 3-1 with the victories. The Pride will play again on Tuesday when it travels to face Johnson & Wales in Providence, R.I.. First serve is slated for 7 pm.
Springfield 3, Baruch 0
The Pride totaled 41 kills at a .523 clip in the sweep over the Bearcats and were tremendous from the end line, racking up program-record 18 service aces as a team, besting the previous record of 15 which was set against Johnson & Wales on January 22, 2016. Ricardo Padilla Ayala (San Juan, Puerto Rico) ripped eight service winners and seven kills in the victory, while Kyle Jasuta (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) added five aces to go along with seven kills on eight errorless attempts. Sergio Figueroa Velez (San Juan, Puerto Rico) totaled six kills and four aces and Eli Irizarry Pares (San Juan, Puerto Rico) produced nine digs in leading a defensive effort that limited Baruch to a .087 hitting percentage. Mike Neary (Ventura, Calif.) directed the offensive attack with 30 assists.
Holding a 13-11 lead midway through the opening set, Springfield took over with an 8-1 surge which was highlighted by three-straight service aces from Padilla Ayala to put the hosts on top, 21-12. Consecutive kills from Joseth Irizarry Feliciano (Adjuntas, Puerto Rico) sealed the 25-14 win as Springfield hit .409 and produced seven aces.
In the second set, the Pride stormed out to a 15-3 advantage as it totaled 14 kills at a .632 hitting percentage to go along with another seven aces. Jasuta totaled three aces in the frame, including a pair in the final two points, en route to the 25-8 victory.
Springfield used another strong start to kick off the third, forcing Baruch into a timeout trailing 10-3 after Sean Zuvich's (San Pedro, Calif.) second kill of the set. The Pride would led by as many as 14 points, using a huge stuff from Irizarry Feliciano and Billy De La Espriella (Northridge, Calif.) at 23-9, before a kill from Tucker Evans (Midlothian, Va.) concluded the sweep with a 25-13 win. The Pride hit .542 in the final set, getting five kills from De La Espriella and three aces from Padilla Ayala.
Springfield 3, Lasell 0
Against Lasell, Springfield put together a .468 hitting percentage as Neary and Eli Gabriel Irizzary Pares (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) combined for 28 assists. Jasuta was dominant out of the middle, notching 10 kills at a .833 hitting percentage, to go along with five blocks, while Kenny Lawrence (Longwood, Calif.) pounded seven kills off the bench.
Springfield totaled a .524 hitting percentage in the opening set and benefited from five kills by both Jasuta and Zuvich. Tied at 4-4, Springfield manufactured an 8-2 push capped off by an overpass kill by Figueroa Velez to earn a 12-6 cushion. The Pride's lead would balloon to 13 on a pair of occasions, the last coming on a Zuvich kill for the 25-12 win.
The Pride went to its bench in the second set and was paced by Lawrence, who would tally four kills, while the Lasers committed 12 attack errors in the set, hitting -.320. Clinging to an 8-6 advantage, Springfield blew things open with an 8-2 run, benefitting from a big swing from Lawrence in transition. Lasell committed six-straight attack errors to conclude the set as Springfield prevailed, 25-10.
In the third set, the Pride used an early kill and ace from Evans to surge out to a 6-0 advantage. The visitors would get no closer than five at 8-3 as a 12-4 burst that featured a pair of kills from both De La Espriella and Jasuta forced Lasell into a timeout at 20-7. Springfield had 14 kills at a .500 clip in the final set and concluded the sweep with a 25-13 victory.