Springfield, Mass. - Jan. 25, 2014 - The top-ranked Springfield College men's volleyball battled past 10th-ranked NYU in three sets on Saturday evening in Blake Arena behind another standout performance by Luis Vega (Corozal, Puerto Rico).
The Pride were ranked No. 1 in the AVCA Preseason National Coaches Poll, while the Violets were ranked 10th. The Pride won by the scores of 25-22, 25-11, 25-22.
Luis Vega (Corozal, Puerto Rico) notched a match-high 13 kills at a .474 clip, to go along with three blocks. Ryan Malone (Chicopee, Mass.) chipped in five kills and four aces, while Jimmy O'Leary (Reading, Pa.) added five kills and three blocks. Keaton Pieper (Dallas, Texas) was credited with 30 assists in the win.
Despite hitting just .293 for the match, Springfield erupted for 12 service aces to win in three sets.
NYU was paced by Chase Klein, who tallied nine kills, and Colin LaPorte, who registered eight kills and two blocks. Phil Bueno registered a match-high five blocks and Connor Mortland dished out 23 assists.
The match started off with both offenses clicking, until the Pride earned an 11-8 lead following a Malone kill in transition. Springfield’s lead grew to 16-12 following a NYU hitting error, but the Violets stormed back with a 7-2 surge, with back-to-back LaPorte solo blocks forcing the Pride into a timeout trailing 19-18.
The Pride responded with a kill from Vega and a block by Angel Perez (Naranjito, Puerto Rico) and Shaun Ermi (Rush, N.Y.) to regain a 20-19 lead, only to have NYU score the next two points, forcing Springfield in to its final timeout of the frame. Vega hammered a ball out of the back row to kick start Springfield’s 5-1 burst as it took the opener, 25-21. Vega put on an offensive show in the first set, producing eight kills at a .700 clip.
The Pride seized early control of the second set, grabbing a 5-0 lead behind a pair of kills from O’Leary. NYU answered with the next two points, but the Pride reeled off four straight from there, capped off by a back-row kill from Perez to extend its lead to 9-2. Springfield held the Violets to a -.154 hitting percentage, while hitting .556 themselves.
After NYU cut Springfield’s lead to 10-9 in the third, Springfield scored five of the next six points to take a 15-10 advantage, as NYU burned a timeout. Vega had a block, ace, and kill in the spurt to pace the Pride’s surge. The Violets responded with a 4-0 run, using a Mortland and Bueno block to make it a one-point game.
The Pride's lead would grow to 21-18 on an NYU service error, but a Mortland and Klein block highlighted another 3-1 run for the visitors as Springfield's lead shrank to 22-21. The teams traded errors and Malone blistered an ace down the line at match point to seal the sweep.
Serving would prove to be NYU's downfall in the third as they committed nine errors, unable to take advantage of Springfield's -.231 hitting percentage in the frame.
Springfield 3, York 0
Springfield/York Box Score
Springfield, Mass. - January 25, 2014 - The Springfield College men's volleyball team made quick work of visiting York, sweeping the Cardinals by the set scores of 25-7, 25-14, 25-14.
Springfield has now put together three-straight wins to even its record to 3-3, while York drops to 0-2.
Greg Woods (Middletown, Conn.) was dominant in the nightcap, hammering a match-high 10 kills on a .600 hitting percentage. Ryan Lilley (Stony Brook, N.Y.) and Angel Perez (Naranjito, Puerto Rico) each tallied five kills and Luis Garcia Rubio (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) and Keaton Pieper (Dallas, Texas) combined for 29 assists.
Springfield hit .491 in the match, totaled 11 team blocks, and held the visiting Cardinals to a -.116 hitting percentage.
Jimmy O’Leary (Reading, Pa.) controlled the net in the early going, posting three early blocks as the Pride jumped out to a 12-0 lead to begin the match. The Pride didn’t let up, hitting .733 in the frame as it east to a 25-11 victory. Perez was especially impressive, connecting for five kills at a .714 clip.
Springfield went to its bench for the second set, putting in seven brand new faces. York climbed within 9-6, but the Pride put together a 6-2 surge to take control of the frame for good. Woods was terrific in the frame, racking up five kills.
The Cardinals held tough to start the fourth, using a kill from Avinash Thomas to get within 8-7. From there, Springfield rattled off six unanswered points, with a Sean Zuvich (San Pedro, Calif.) ace putting the Pride ahead, 14-7. Springfield didn't let up, and completed the sweep with a 25-14 third-set win.
Springfield will play again on Tuesday when it travels to play Hunter at 6:00 pm.