Springfield, Mass - March 9, 2013 - The Springfield College men's volleyball team put together its two best hitting percentages of the season as it swept Baruch and Hunter on Saturday afternoon. Senior Greg Falcone combined for 13 blocks on the day to set the all-time program record for career blocks.
Springfield cruised past Baruch, 25-10, 25-17, 25-15, as it hit .531 before handling Hunter, 25-10, 25-19, 25-19, while owning a .548 hitting percentage.
Springfield entered the matches ranked second in the AVCA national poll and is now 18-3 on the season.
Falcone set his second program record in as many weeks after previously setting the program's career block assist record. This time, the senior broke Andy Sipe's mark of 522 total career blocks which was set in 2009, as he now has 527 during his four years at Springfield.
Against Baruch, the Pride's Luis Vega pounded out a career-best 12 kills, hitting .688, to go along with eight digs and two blocks. John Coen registered nine kills, three blocks, and three aces, while Jimmy O'Leary recorded seven kills and six blocks. Mike Becker finished with 35 assists and Nick Ferry tallied a match-best 10 digs.
For Baruch, Martin Joksimovik posted a team-best six kills at a .500 clip as he and fellow middle Steven Coniglio each were credited with three blocks. Jack McKee had a team-best seven digs and Scott Standring delivered 17 assists. The Bearcats hit just .047 for the day.
After a Springfield service error made it a 5-4 contest in favor of the hosts, the Pride rattled off a 8-1 run, with Vega bombing a ball out of the back row to force the Bearcats into a timeout at 13-5. The Pride was dominant in the opening set, hitting a sizzling .682 to cruise to a 25-10 victory, with Vega was sensational in the frame, connecting for kills on all seven of his attempts.
The Bearcats jumped out to an early 4-2 advantage following a double block from Joksimovik and McKee. Springfield's offense began to find its rhythm, scoring 13 of the set's next 17 points to earn a 15-8 lead on a Coen service ace. A solo block from Coniglio brought the visitors within five at 20-15, however, O'Leary closed out the frame, smashing his attempt off the Bearcat block for the 25-17 victory.
Springfield used back-to-back blocks from O'Leary and an ace from Coen to race out to a 5-0 lead in the third. Hitting .522 for the game, Springfield was in control throughout, easing to a 25-15 victory using four kills, two aces, and two blocks from Coen.
In the win over Hunter, Springfield hit .548 behind the tremendous offensive play of Mike Pelletier, who totaled 11 kills on 16 errorless swings to go along with three blocks and two aces. Becker led the offense with 34 assists and Vega hammered eight kills. Falcone produced a match-best nine blocks, while O'Leary added four blocks and four kills.
Hunter's Nino Hot recorded a team-best 10 kills, and Matthew Ng added nine kills to lead the way for the Hawks. Stanley Martinez handed out 28 assists and Braien produced seven kills and two blocks for a Hunter team that hit .183 in the match.
In the opening set against Hunter, the Pride was unstoppable with 13 kills on 15 errorless swings to cruised to a 25-10 win. The Pride jumped out to a 9-3 lead, connecting for kills on their first six swings and then used a solo block from Pelletier to push its lead to 17-7. O’Leary, Pelletier, and Coen all had three kills in the stanza, with O’Leary and Falcone each posting three blocks.
A Hot kill in the second gave the Hawks a 12-9 cushion as their offense dictated the tone early. However, Springfield stormed back, as Falcone teamed up with Becker for his record-breaking block to even the set at 13-all. Hunter would regain the lead and hold a 17-16 advantage on a block from Otsla and Alexandru Barbulescu. The Pride answered back with six unanswered points, highlighted by three more Falcone blocks to seize a 22-17 advantage. Another kill from Pelletier would eventually give Springfield a 25-19 win.
In the third, Springfield's offense heated back up, totaling 17 kills at a .615 clip. A triple block from Martinez, Otsla, and Moshood Jinad tied the set at five, only to have the Pride roar back with a 12-6 push to own a 17-11 lead. Hunter responded with a push of its own, getting within 21-18 on a kill from Barulescu. However, Springfield was too strong down the stretch, and Vega closed the door on the match with a big swing to complete the sweep.
Springfield will play again on Wednesday evening in its last match before Spring Break as it travels to NYU for a 6:00 pm match.
Springfield 3, Mount Ida 0 (25-12, 25-16, 25-11)
Springfield 3, Baruch 0 (25-10, 25-17, 25-15)
Hunter 3, Mount Ida 1 (19-25, 25-12, 25-13, 25-17)
Springfield 3, Hunter 0 (25-10, 25-19, 25-19)
Baruch 3, Mount Ida 0 (25-12, 25-20, 25-14)