Almost anytime someone says, “Woods dominated,” it is in reference to the 14-time major champion golfer, Tiger Woods. However, on Saturday, Feb. 28, a different Woods was spectacular. Greg Woods of the Springfield College men’s volleyball team put the hammer down as he racked up a career-high 15 kills in the Pride’s 3-0 beat down on visiting Emmanuel College. Woods jumped through the roof all night as he unmercifully slammed the ball onto Emmanuel’s side of the court time after time.
“We just lost (Ryan) Malone who normally starts in Greg’s position,” said head coach Charlie Sullivan. “It’s very comforting for the group to see Greg put up those kind of numbers.”
The fifth ranked Pride were in control of the match right from the get go. The Saints made multiple service errors and were not able to place the ball with precision as many of the their hits sailed out of bounds. Springfield jumped out to a 17-10 lead in the first set before Emmanuel crept back in by going on a 5-1 run making the score 18-15. However, after a Woods kill, the Pride pulled away and took the stanza 25-19.
The Pride dominated the second set, hitting at a .458 clip. Springfield’s defense also stepped up in the second, allowing just 13 points.
The final set started out even as the teams were tied at eight. Then Springfield went on a 12-5 run to take a commanding 20-13 lead. However, Emmanuel refused to lie down. The Saints would go on a mini 7-2 run and cut the deficit to just two points at 22-20. That would force Sullivan to take a timeout and regroup his team. The Pride came out of the timeout hot, as freshman Joseth Irizarry Feliciano slammed one home and propelled Springfield to a 25-20 victory that would put the match in the books.
The Pride picked up a huge win against third ranked New Paltz State University earlier in the week, a big confidence booster for Sullivan’s team.
“Big wins help us keep our composure and not panic so we can get better as matches go on. The win against New Paltz really helped us do that tonight,” Sullivan said.
It was another all-around well-played match for the Pride as it continues the quest for a fourth straight Division III National Championship.