Assistant Sports Editor
The No. 2 Springfield College men’s volleyball team may have had something to prove on Wednesday night, as the Pride dismantled MIT in three straight sets. Mike Pelletier led the way with 10 kills, while Greg Falcone added seven blocks.
It was a dominating performance for the Pride, as they showcased their incredible depth. Pelletier, Falcone, Angel Perez and John Coen all finished with more than six kills.
After trading body punches for much of the first game, Springfield went on a 10-3 run that gave them a 20-13 lead that proved insurmountable for the Engineers. Falcone notched three of his game-high seven blocks during this stretch.
The second game was much more competitive, but Springfield never trailed as they took the game 25-19. Freshman Keaton Pieper had a hand in six of the final seven points on his way to 28 assists.
The third game served as a showcase for the depth of talent coach Charlie Sullivan has on this team. At the 16-9 mark, Sullivan brought in Mike Becker and Alistair Matthews, and the junior duo contributed seven of the final nine points of the game.
Pelletier, a junior, made the transition from libero to outside hitter entering his sophomore year, a transition that clearly has paid off in the long run.
“Coach wanted me to get my defense up,” said Pelletier. “I think that has helped me establish myself on the outside where I can hit and pass as well.”
By shifting Pelletier to the outside, Coach Sullivan was able to work sophomore Nick Ferry in at libero last season, which really improved the defensive side of the game, an effect that has carried over to this season.
“Ball control is a big part of the game,” said Sullivan. “The more you can put the ball in good spots and keep the ball off the floor, you’re doing pretty well. The more guys who can play the ball well on their arms, the better off we’ll be.”
The Pride next take the floor on Friday when they play UC Santa Cruz in the Volleyball Hall of Fame/Morgan Classic.
Jimmy Kelley may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org