The men’s volleyball team extends their winning streak to 19 games after a trio of sweeps over Vassar, Lasell, and Rivier. The Pride took care of Vassar (25-18, 25-19, 25-15) and Lasell (25-14, 25-18, 25-12) on Saturday at Blake Arena. The road trip to Nashua, N.H. was a proven success on Tuesday as Springfield cruised past Rivier (25-23, 25-16, 25-17).
Luis Garcia Rubio, leading the nation in Division III with 11.40 assists per set, paced Springfield with the victory over Vassar. Rubio had 35 assists setting up the hitters on both sides.
Ricardo Padilla Ayala had a team-high 13 kills and junior Trevor Mattson had 11 kills, five digs, and five blocks. Senior Luis Vega was very effective with 10 digs.
The Pride had 36 digs throughout the contest which put them at a great advantage on the attack.
“When the serve receive is good it’s always easier to set the ball in the right spot,” said Garcia Rubio. “Being in constant communication with my hitters is very important to set the ball in the right spot for them.”
Offensively, Springfield best set was in the second. Dishing out 17 kills at a .739 hitting percentage, the Pride were eventually able to pull away and put the Brewers in a 2-0 hole.
The night match with Lasell featured six new Springfield players contributing that didn’t participate in the win over Vassar. Freshmen Mike Neary took Rubio’s place and produced 34 assists. Jason Weedon stepped in and the Pride’s attack with 12 kills while senior Greg Wood added 10 kills. A pair of freshmen Jonathon Rodriguez (seven kills, four blocks) and Billy De La Espriella (seven digs, five kills) also chipped in for Springfield.
The latest victory over Rivier continued to feature the depth that Springfield provides. Freshmen Kyle Jasuta led the way on the attack with 10 kills. Vega had himself another well-balanced effort with six kills, six digs, three blocks, and three aces while Rubio set up the Pride off his 33 assists.
Throughout these three matches, head coach Charlie Sullivan played 15 of the 18 players on the roster. Having the advantage of any member of the team stepping onto the court, plays a major factor for Springfield in any contest as well as moving forward.
“That is what we practice for. Everyday we go to the gym with only one mentality and it’s to practice hard the whole practice and learn something new everyday,” added Rubio. “We don’t want only 6 or 7 players doing a good job, we want the whole team contribution.”
Being the top-ranked team in the nation at 20-1 and 17-0 against Division III teams this season, Springfield has been on a tear and hasn’t been able to be stopped.
This weeks success was another stepping stone towards improvement and the potential greatness that this team can achieve.
“I think we did a really good job in the matches, great communication and energy in the court and also on the bench,” said Rubio. “Every time we play with a lot of energy and great communication, we play well.”
The Pride now have a day for practice and preparation before they head to New York City to face off with Baruch College on Friday.