Springfield, Mass. - February 8, 2014 The Springfield College men's volleyball team picked up a four-set win over Kean University before cruising to a three-game sweep of Daniel Webster on Saturday in Blake Arena behind the standout play of Luis Vega and Greg Woods.
Springfield 3, Kean 1
Springfield, Mass. - February 8, 2014 Sophomore Luis Vega (Corozal, Puerto Rico) registered a career-best 19 kills to power the Springfield College men's volleyball team to a four-set win over Kean University on Saturday afternoon in Blake Arena. The Pride won by the scores of 26-28, 25-11, 25-17, 25-21.
With the win over Kean, the 4th-ranked Pride, which was ranked 4th in this week's AVCA Division III National Poll, knocked off its second-nationally ranked team of the week as it bested No. 2 New Paltz on Thursday. Springfield is now 7-4 on the year, while the 14th-ranked Cougars drop to 3-6.
Vega was dominant for the Pride, totaling 19 kills at a .412 clip. Ryan Malone (Chicopee, Mass.) filled the stat sheet with 10 kills, eight digs, and five blocks, while Jimmy O'Leary (Reading, Pa.) posted eight kills on a 12 errorless swings for a .667 hitting percentage. Keaton Pieper (Dallas, Texas) led Springfield's offense to a .352 hitting percentage with 46 helpers, and Nick Ferry (Valencia, Calif.) notched a season-best 11 digs.
Bez Arslani (Wayne, N.J) led the visitors with 11 kills, and Ed Jedziniak (Hillsborough, N.J.) totaled 10 kills and four blocks. Ron Dunn (Collingswood, N.J.) tallied 36 assists and Michael Fox (East Brunswick, N.J.) chipped in a team-best nine digs. As a team, the Cougars hit .123 in the match.
Kean controlled the early going of the first set, taking a 9-6 lead on an overpass kill by Arslani. The Pride battled back to even things at 10-all on a O’Leary and Pieper block, but consecutive kills from Tommy Rosario (Belleville, N.J.) in the middle forced Springfield into their second timeout trailing 14-11. Kean would hang on to a 20-18 lead from another Arslani kill, only to have Springfield rattle off three-straight points behind the serving of Malone to take a 21-20 cushion. A kill and ace from O’Leary gave Springfield set point, but Rosario answered with an athletic kill out of the middle. John Cunningham (Cinniminson, N.J.) found the back corner for Kean’s third-set point, and Arslani delivered a huge solo stuff for the 28-26 win.
Vega set the tone early to begin the second set, banging three-straight kills to put the Pride in command. Malone elevated for a solo block to give Springfield a 7-3 lead, and a remarkable dig by Ferry resulted in a Vega kill in transition to put the hosts ahead 15-8. From there on, Springfield reeled off a 10-3 run to close the set behind the solid serving of Pieper. Springfield’s offense was unstoppable, hitting .571 in the frame behind the play of Vega, who registered seven kills on eight errorless swings.
In the third, Jedziniak teamed with Rosario for a Kean block as the Cougars raced out to a 12-8 lead. Springfield battled back with seven unanswered points to gain a 15-12 lead, only to have another Jedziniak and Rosario block knot the set at 15-all. The Pride rattled off the next five points to seize control, with Shaun Ermi (Rush, N.Y.) registering a pair of blocks to key the spurt. Greg Woods (Middletown, Conn.) blasted home his third kill off the bench to give Springfield the 25-17 win.
Springfield benefited from four early Kean attack errors to earn a 6-1 lead to begin the fourth. Jedziniak would bring the Cougars within 9-6, but three-straight Kean attack errors capped off a 7-3 Springfield push to force the Cougars into a timeout, with the score 16-9 in favor of the Pride. Dunn and Kyle Farley (Cherry Hill, N.J.) posted a block to thwart Springfield in transition at 20-18, but Vega blasted two kills down the stretch to complete the four-set win.
Springfield 3, Daniel Webster 0
Leading the way with a career-high 14 kills from sophomore outside hitter Greg Woods (Middletown, Conn.), the fourth-ranked Springfield College men’s volleyball team defeated the Daniel Webster Eagles in three games by the scores of 25-15,25-16,25-16 on Saturday evening in Blake Arena. Following the victory, Springfield improves to 8-4 on the season, while the Eagles fall to 1-6 overall.
Midway through the first set, the Pride found itself down 12-11, only to go on a 5-1 run, receiving kills from Jimmy O’Leary (Reading, Pa.), Ryan Malone (Chicopee, Mass.) and Woods, forcing a timeout from Daniel Webster.
Coming out of the timeout, senior Ryan Lilley (Stony Brook, N.Y.) served 10 straight points, sending Springfield went on a 9-1 run. The Pride capped off the run with a huge kill from Malone and hitting error from Daniel Webster outside hitter Joe Walz (East Longmeadow, Mass.) to make it 23-13.
Capping off the first set, Luis Vega (Corozal, Puerto Rico) blasted a cross-court kill to take the set 25-15. Being the only set that Vega played, the sophomore finished the match with five kills on seven attempts, hitting at a .714 clip.
After being gridlocked at three apiece to begin the second set, Springfield went on a 6-0 run, capped off by back-to-back kills from O’Leary to make the score 9-3 Pride. O’Leary had seven kills and two errors on 10 attempts, hitting .500 for the night.
Utilizing their timeout to kill Springfield’s momentum, the Eagles came out of the break on a 3-0 run including a block from Walz to bring the score to 10-6, Springfield. The Pride stayed hot through the middle portion of the set, going on a 9-5 run finished off with a kill from O’Leary to make it 19-12 Pride. With a 24-16 lead, Woods blasted a high-flying kill to close out the second set, Springfield winning 25-16.
Showing some resilience in the third set, Daniel Webster started off up 5-3, before a kill from Luis Garcia Rubio (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) and hitting error from Daniel Webster junior middle blocker Joel Hendrix (Kane’ohe, Hawaii) ended their run and brought Springfield back to even the score at five apiece. A 3-0 run put the Eagles up 11-8, but it was quickly smothered following a kill from Woods and an ace from Garcia Rubio.
Following suit, a block from Lilley and Eduardo McCormick (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) evened the score at 11-11, midway through the third set. With the teams tied at 12 apiece, four-straight kills from Woods put the Pride up 16-12, forcing an Eagles timeout.
Keaton Pieper (Dallas, Texas) came off the bench to deliver an ace to make it 23-14 and a kill from Trevor Mattson (Redlands, Calif.) iced the victory for the Pride, taking the third set 25-16, and the match.
Woods totaled 14 kills at a .417 clip in the win, while Garcia Rubio was credited with 34 assists as Springfield hit .403 on the night. All told, 14 different players saw action on the court against Daniel Webster.
The Pride will have a midweek game on Wednesday when it travels to take on Elms for a 6:00 pm clash.