Huntingdon, Pa. - February 24, 2012 - The Springfield College men's volleyball team split its first two matches of the Juniata Invitational on Friday as it swept Lancaster Bible before being upended by fourth-ranked Juniata in three sets. The Pride handled LBU 25-17, 25-17, 25-20 in the first match of the day. Later that evening, Springfield had its 10-match winning streak come to a close as host Juniata was victorious by the scores of 27-25, 25-21, 25-20.
In Springfield's victory over Lancaster Bible, Alistair Matthews had a standout performance. The junior right side produced 20 kills on 30 swings while committing just one error to go along with eight digs. Tyler Tanaka added seven kills, five digs, four aces, and three blocks, while Jason Mascoe totaled a team-best four blocks. Setter Mike Becker paced the Pride's offense to a .337 hitting percentage and handed out 36 assists.
Against the rival Eagles, Springfield surrendered its highest-hitting percentage to an opponent all season as Juniata hit at a .447 clip. Mike Pelletier tallied a team-best 10 kills and Angel Perez chipped in with nine kills. Keaton Pieper was credited with 37 assists and both Perez and Nick Ferry recorded six digs each.
Juniata's middles Ben Wolff and Joe Bortak were effective for the Eagles from the outset, and each finished with 14 kills. Eagle pin hitters Paul Kuhn and Ross Madden recorded nine kills each, while setter John Almquist tallied 41 assists while running the Eagle offense.
The opening set was the closest as it featured 10 ties and Springfield appeared to have the game in control leading 23-20. However, consecutive Springfield attack errors made it a 23-22 game, only to have Pelletier convert for a kill to give Springfield set point. A Pride service error made it 24-23 and was followed up by a Bortak kill to knot the set at 24-24. A Madden block put Juniata on set point, 25-24, and Springfield called timeout to regroup. Coming out of the timeout, Almquist served up an error to tie the set at 25-25. However a Madden kill got the Eagles to set point number two, and a double-block by Kuhn and Bortak clinched the opening set for Juniata.
The Eagles took the momentum from their comeback victory and never looked back to compete the three-game sweep. Juniata was especially effective offensively in the third set, connecting on 17 kills on 27 errorless swings for a .630 hitting percentage as a team.