Springfield, Mass. -- February 11, 2012 -- Springfield College, behind the exploits of MVP Angel Perez, defeated Lees-McRae College of North Carolina tonight to win its first ever Volleyball Hall of Fame/Morgan Classic at Springfield College's Blake Arena. Springfield has been hosting this tournament, considered the premier in-season men's volleyball tournament on the East Coast, for 25 years.
Scores were 25-21, 25-15, 27-25 in favor of Springfield.
Springfield, ranked #2 in the Division III national poll, is now 8-4, while Lees-McRae falls to 4-4. Tonight marked only the fifth time in this tournament's history that SC had even reached the finals.
In the consolation match, the California Baptist University men's volleyball team defeated UC-Santa Cruz, 3-0. Set scores in the consolation match were 26-24, 25-22, 25-20 in favor of Cal Baptist.
Match #2 (Championship) -- Springfield 3, Lees-McRae 0 (25-21, 25-15, 27-25)
Angel Perez, an outside hitter from Naranjito, Puerto Rico, proved to be the catalyst this evening. The freshman led the Pride with 14 kills, and had only one error in 22 swings. He finished with an impressive .591 hitting percentage.
Perez, however, had plenty of help. Sophomore middle blocker Jimmy O'Leary (Reading, Pa.) had five kills and hit .455. Junior opposite John Coen (Chicago, Ill.) had five kills in six swings and hit. 833. Junior outside hitter Mike Pelletier (Burnt Hills, N.Y.) also finished with seven kills and seven digs. Sophomore libero Nick Ferry (Valencia, Calif.) led SC with 10 digs.
It was the first time Springfield had even been in the final of this tournament since 2007 when Ball State captured the crown with a 3-1 victory.
For the second straight night, sophomore outside hitter Jose Ribas (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) led Lees-McRae with nine kills. Sophomore outside hitter Chris Flood (Louisville, Ky.) followed with eight kills. And freshman middle blocker Joshua Jones (Christmas, Fla.) had seven kills.
Certainly one of the main differences tonight for the Bobcats came in the team's hitting percentage. As a team, Lees-McRae hit .100 for the match. Springfield, meanwhile, hit .329.
Match #1 (Consolation) -- Cal Baptist 3, UC-Santa Cruz 0 (26-24, 25-22, 25-20)
The Lancers are now 3-9, while UC-Santa Cruz falls to 2-3. Santa Cruz is the #3-ranked team in Division III nationally.
Junior outside hitter Daniel Freitas (Torrance, Calif.) once again led the Lancers this evening with 13 kills. He also had a .320 hitting percentage, along with four digs and three blocks. Also having a sensational match was 6-11 junior middle blocker Kristopher Johnson (Long Beach, Calif.) with 12 kills and six blocks, as well as a .706 hitting percentage. He had no errors in 17 swings.
Freshman outside hitter Corey Bates (Melbourne, Australia) led his squad with seven digs, while sophomore setter Connor Metcalfe (Las Vegas, Nev.) had a team-high 43 set assists.
For the Banana Slugs, junior outside hitter Harley Frost (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) topped his team with 11 kills. Senior outside hitter Bruce Mayer (San Diego, Calif.) and sophomore middle blocker Will Klepac (Fremont, Calif.) each totaled eight kills. And 6-10 senior middle blocker Thomas Davidson (Sunnyvale, Calif.) had seven kills.
Junior libero Jory Hollander (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) had four digs, while sophomore setter Steven Crane (Saugus, Calif.) had 32 set assists.
Freitas had six kills in set #1 for the Lancers. Both Freitas and Johnson had eight kills each in set #3.
Overall, Cal Baptist had a solid .357 hitting percentage as a team. UC-Santa Cruz hit .231. Cal Baptist finished with 8.0 blocks as a team, while the Banana Slugs finished with 4.0 team blocks.
Thomas Davidson, UC Santa Cruz
Kristopher Johnson, Cal Baptist
Jose Ribas, Lees-McRae
Randy Ramirez, Lees-McRae
Nick Ferry, Springfield College
Mike Pelletier, Springfield College
Angel Perez, Springfield College, MVP
Serving Contest Champion
Jory Jolander, UC Santa Cruz
Spike Contest Champion
Michael Cate, Cal Baptist