Springfield, Mass. - April 2, 2011 - The Springfield College men's volleyball team was swept by visiting St. Francis in an EIVA Tait Conference match in Blake Arena on Saturday afternoon. The Red Flash picked up the sweep by the scores 25-22, 25-17, 25-21.
St. Francis improves to 10-12, 3-6 in league play, while the Pride evened its record at 13-13, 3-6.
The Pride rested several of its normal starters in the match after a taxing five-game victory over Juniata on Friday evening. Leading Springfield's offense on the afternoon was Alistair Matthews, who pounded out a match-high 15 kills while hitting .345. Mike Becker handed out 27 assists and James O'Leary added two aces and two blocks. Springfield struggled passing the ball all afternoon as it was aced 10 times.
For the Red Flash, Alex Kane notched a team-best 13 kills, while Logan Patterson added seven. The offense was run by Ryan Williams, who dished out 32 assists, and John Wappler led the St. Francis defense effort with 12 digs.
For the match, St. Francis hit .403, becoming just the second team this season to hit above .400 against Springfield. The first came in the season opener at California Baptist.
A kill from Jeff Gutmann put Springfield up 21-18 in the first as the Pride put together its best set of the afternoon. However, the Red Flash countered with a 4-0 run to take a 22-21 lead. A kill from Matthews would even things at 22, but St. Francis scored the final three points of the game, including a pair of kills from Patterson to take the opening set.
The Red Flash led by as much as 10 in the second set as they hit .400 en route to cruising to a a 25-17 win. St. Francis benefited from four aces and and hit .400 in the set to go up by two games.
In the final frame, another kill by Gutmann put the Pride up 14-12. As was the case the entire match, the Red Flash made Springfield pay from the service line as Kane rattled off six points from the service line before an error finally made it 19-15 in favor of the visitors. A Becker ace would get Springfield within one at 22-21, but two kills from Kane and another from John Skarupa completed the sweep.
Springfield will now prepare for a showdown with the top-team in Division III, NYU, on Wednesday. If Springfield is able to defeat the Violets, they will earn a trip to the 2011 Molten Division III National Championship in Rochester, N.Y.