With a storm starting to brew last Saturday afternoon, it did not stop the athletic contest that was being held at Blake Arena.
The Springfield College men’s volleyball team returned to their home court with a matchup against the Hunter College Hawks. The Pride finished strong in all three sets in order to complete the sweep (25-17, 25-18, 25-16).
The Pride was never able to dominate Hunter but they improved upon their mistakes in order to get the victory.
“I thought we got better in a couple of areas we were trying to improve in so I was happy with the focus,” said Head Coach Charlie Sullivan.
Being very aggressive on attack, the Pride gradually ran a rather smooth offense. Senior Angel Perez led the maroon and white with 12 kills at a .550 clip through the two sets he started in. Fellow senior Ryan Malone also chipped in with 10 kills.
Setters Eric Johnson and Luis Garcia Rubio tallied 38 assists together, Johnson having 26 and Garcia Rubio with 12.
It didn’t matter which side they set the ball, one of their teammates would be there.
“It’s good to have a bunch of options especially all around the court,” said Malone.
It was also the passing that really started the whole flow of the offense.
“We have our passing there, we have a lot of firepower, so whoever gets [the ball] I’m not worried about,” said Malone. “It’s good to have those guys to be able to put some balls down.”
In the first set, Hunter hung tough with the Pride but Perez had five kills to eventually put the Hawks away. Jason Mascoe and Sean Zuvich also contributed with great blocking off the nets defensively.
The Hawks showed why in the second set that it wouldn’t be a breeze for the Pride as they took the early 4-1 lead. Once the Pride began to battle back, the lead changed eight times in the second frame.
Perez continued to lead the attack as he had seven of the Pride’s 18 kills in the set. Clinging to an 18-14 lead, Perez hammered another kill followed by a timely block by sophomore Sean Ermi to give Springfield the 20-14 advantage.
The Pride adjusted to Hunter’s game plan in order to take the second set.
“We started to pick up on some of their patterns on what they set in certain rows,” said Malone.
In the third frame, the Pride proved that going to their bench would not be a problem.
Junior Greg Woods and freshman Ricardo Padilla came into the game and provided a spark that would ultimately seal the victory. Padilla led the final frame with six kills as Woods contributed with four kills.
The Pride then hosted Wentworth in the night cap game losing in four sets (25-15, 29-27, 18-25, 25-16). Perez was strong again in this match with 17 kills despite the loss. The Pride went to 7-4 on the season.