As the Pride held a 20-13 lead over MIT, the Engineers were forced to call their second timeout of the set.
Coming out of the timeout, senior Tucker Evans stepped up to serve. The Engineers scrambled to return the ball back over the net. MIT’s Evan Pasko went for the kill.
Kyle Jasuta and Mike Neary towered over the net to give the Pride a 21-13 lead in the third set.
Evans once again stepped up to serve.
Evans serve again.
The Pride held a ten point lead over MIT as the teams had split the first two sets. After Evans back-to-back aces, he once again went back to serve. This time MIT hit the ball over the net only for Jasuta to slam the ball over the net, unable to be returned.
Springfield took the third set 25-13 to pick up a 2-1 lead.
The first and fourth set were similar for the Pride. The team won those sets 25-12 and 25-16 to beat the Engineers in Blake Arena 3-1.
In the second set the Pride went back and forth with the Engineers until MIT was able to build a 20-17 lead. Head coach Charlie Sullivan called a timeout. Coming out of the timeout the Pride scored four straight points to take a 21-20 lead and forcing MIT to use one of their timeouts. The Engineers then took the next two points until a kill from Billy De La Esprilla tied it up at 22 apiece. The Engineers once again scored the next two points until another kill by Jasuta was able to keep the Pride alive and down by one. After MIT’s second timeout of the match the Engineers took the second set 25-23.
“They played a good game,” said Springfield head coach Charlie Sullivan. “I thought it was a really good of volleyball. We played well, they played well, they just played a little better than us. It got closer at the end of the set and we just carried the things we learned at the end of the set to the beginning of the next set.”
Behind the service line
Evans stepped up to the service line to start the match against MIT. ACE! The Pride totaled 13 aces against MIT and 13 in their first match of the day against Rampo. Five of the aces against the RoadRunners came from freshman Chris Parker while Sergio Figueroa Velez had five against MIT.
“We just were trying to be aggressive and not have any doubts, if we had any doubts just conunter it with a doubt of being great,” Sullivan said.
In the first set, the Pride had four service aces; two from Figueroa Velez and one apiece from Neary and Evans.
Just 20 days before the Pride was set to host the the NCAA Division III quarterfinals the Engineers ended Springfield’s 25 game win a 3-2 win in Cambridge. Before that loss the Pride had only lost to Hope International University.
“We didn’t think about revenge we just thought about learning from that experience and we weren’t prepared and we weren’t ready to go really hard,” Sullivan said. “We thought we would go hard today and that would be a good learning experience.”
Honoring the seniors
Springfield honored their five seniors before their 3-0 win over the RoadRunners. Senior Sergio Figuerola Velez had eight kills in the match while sophomore Kenny Lawrence had seven. This season the Pride will graduate Irizarry Feliciano, De La Espriella, Padilla Ayala, Figuerola Velez, Evans and graduate student Zuvich.
“As usual a ton of talent, they bring experience, they bring character they bring everything so the next man up and we will see what happens,” Sullivan said.
Springfield will play their season finale at NJIT on Wednesday before preparing for the national tournament.
Featured photo courtesy of Reef Rogers.