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Men's Volleyball Splits With Bard and New Paltz in Springfield College Invitational

Keaton Pieper and Jimmy O'Leary Springfield/Bard Box Score

Springfield/New Paltz Box Score

Springfield, Mass. - February 14, 2014 - The Springfield College men's volleyball team split a pair of matches on Friday evening in Blake Arena. The Pride opened up the night with a three-set sweep of Bard College before dropping a close three-set match to New Paltz.

Springfield 3, Bard 0
The Springfield College men's volleyball team breezed past Bard College in three sets to kick off the Springfield College Invitational on Friday evening in Blake Arena. Set scores in favor of the Pride were 25-16, 25-19, 25-12.

Springfield improved to 10-4 with the victory, while the setback dropped the Raptors to 3-8.

Sean Zuvich (San Pedro, Calif.) led the way with a career-best 12 kills at a .400 clip in just two sets, while Greg Woods (Middletown, Conn.) tallied eight kills hitting .667, including seven in the first set. Luis Garcia Rubio (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) led the Springfield offense to a season-best .521 hitting percentage with 38 assists and Matthew Peretto (Vallejo, Calif.) also had the best match of his career with 13 digs.

Billy Williams (Livingston, N.J.) paced Bard with nine kills, posting a .438 hitting percentage. Henry Kasiske (Los Angeles, Calif.) handed out 22 assists and Alex Adams (Fire Island, N.Y.) recorded a team-best six digs.

As a team, Springfield registered 10 aces, including three from Trevor Mattson (Redlands, Calif.) Eduardo McCormack (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico )s and Shaun Ermi (Rush, N.Y.) each came off the bench to record a match-high three blocks.

New Paltz 3, Springfield 0
The Springfield College men's volleyball team dropped a three-set decision to New Paltz on Saturday evening in Blake Arena in the second game of the Springfield College Invitational. New Paltz prevailed by the scores of 25-23, 25-22, 25-23.

Springfield, which entered the match ranked No. 2 in the latest AVCA Division III National Poll, had its six-match winning streak snapped as it dropped to 10-5 on the year. It marked the first time that the Pride has lost at home to a Division III team for the first time since March 27, 2011.

New Paltz, the nation's third-ranked team, improved to 13-1 and avenged a four-set loss to the Pride which happened on February 5.

Tim Ferriter (Rochester, N.Y.) was sensational for the Hawks, pounding out 17 kills at a .500 clip. Christopher Husmann (Massapequa, N.Y.) chipped in nine kills and three blocks, while Christian Smith (Massapequa, N.Y.) added seven kills and 19 assists. The Hawks finished the evening hitting .370 as a team and both Christian Smith and John Lutjen (Smithtown, N.Y.) combined for 39 helpers.

Keaton Pieper (Dallas, Texas) was credited with 35 assists as the Pride hit .287 in the loss. Angel Perez (Naranjito, Puerto Rico) and Luis Vega (Corozal, Puerto Rico) each had nine kills, while Ryan Malone (Chicopee, Mass.) recorded eight kills. Jimmy O'Leary (Reading, Pa.) and Sean Peterson (Norfolk, Va.) each had six kills and three blocks and Nick Ferry (Valencia, Calif.) totaled a match-high eight digs.

Each team put on an offensive show to begin the match, with New Paltz hitting .667 and the Pride posting a .522 hitting percentage. After a Malone kill in transition put Springfield ahead 8-7, the visitors responded with a 6-1 push, using a Ferriter ace to earn a 13-9 advantage.

The Hawks lead expanded to 17-12 on a solo block from Steven Woessner (Massapequa, N.Y.), but Springfield battled back to make things interesting down the stretch. Perez put down an incredible kill from the back row to make it 23-22, and Vega ripped a kill off the block to force New Paltz into a timeout with a 24-23 lead. Out of the break, Ferriter banged a ball down the line for the 25-23 set win.

The teams tightened the defensive screws in the second set, but it remained a back-and-forth affair. After the Pride jumped out to a 3-1 lead, New Paltz answered with five-straight points, benefiting from two Springfield blocking errors, a pair of Ferriter kills, and consecutive Pride attack errors.

After a Christian Smith ace pushed the lead to 7-3, Springfield fought back to tie the set at eight on a monster O’Leary stuff block. New Paltz would eventually surge ahead with a 5-2 burst, as Springfield called its second timeout facing a 13-10 deficit.

Springfield’s block came alive and brought the hosts right back into it as Springfield tallied three key stuffs, with O’Leary and Malone snuffing out a Hawk attack to even things at 17. The momentum appeared to swing in Springfield’s favor as two remarkable digs from Ferry led to Vega crushing a kill, before Peterson slammed an overpass to force the Hawks into a timeout down 22-21. Out of the break, New Paltz reeled off four-straight points to take a two-set lead. Hussman was key in the stretch, posting two kills and a set-ending block.

The Hawks offense came out strong and fueled the visitors to a 10-5 lead to begin the third set as they connected for six kills on their first eight swings. Hussman’s serve would clip the tape for an ace, extending the New Paltz lead to 17-11. Springfield showed some resilience, battling back with five-straight points, using a Perez tip kill to get within 17-16. A solo block from Woessner stopped Springfield’s run, but O’Leary would later tie the set for the first time as his stuff block knotted things at 19-all.

The Hawks strung together four of the next five points, with a block from Husmann and Lutjen making it a 23-20 game. Malone would fight off match point and force the Hawks into a timeout, but a Springfield service error allowed New Paltz to win the match.

Springfield will resume play on Saturday when it clashes with the nation's top-ranked team in Rivier at 12:30 before hosting Johnson and Wales at 4:30 pm.

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Head Coach Charlie Sullivan

Charlie Sullivan With eight national championships to his credit, Charlie Sullivan will enter his 16th season as head coach of the men's volleyball team in 2014. In 15 previous years at the helm, Sullivan owns an overall record of 256-158 for a .618 winning percentage. Read more.

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