On Friday night in Blake Arena Lancaster Bible College’s Nate Miller set a new NCAA Division III record when he had 41 kills over Rivier College.
When playing against No. 1 Springfield College on Saturday night in the same gym Miller was held to just 13.
“I thought we played really well verse him,” said head coach Charlie Sullivan. “He still came away with 13 so that’s a sign of what a talented player he is and the team does a good job of getting the ball in good situations and kind of going away from him sometimes too, so we had to stay focused and stick to the plan but for sure a gifted athlete and a great player.”
The Pride beat the Lancaster Bible College in three straight sets, 25-11, 25-18 and 25-12. Over the three sets Springfield had 10 service aces, five of which game from Sergio Figueroa Velez, while Billy De La Espriella had three and Mike Neary and Tucker Evans each ended the night with one.
“I think it was the same for all the parts of the match, it was good focus and our guys were confident back there and the opportunity to serve was a great thing for us,” Sullivan said.
Along with fives aces Figueroa Velez also ended the match with seven kills, four of which were in the first set. As a team the Chargers ended the first set with five kills.
Sean Zuvich, who had three kills in the first set ended the night with a team high 11 kills for the Pride and nine digs in his final match in Blake Arena.
“It was just kind of excitement that combined with my preparation before the game so just understanding the scouting report and translating what we’ve been working on for so long in practice into the game,” Zuvich said.
After a long rally Lancaster Bible College was able to tie it up early in the second set. Johjan Mussa Robles and Figueroa Velez both ran under the net to save the ball, and after the Chargers returned it Mussa Robles once again dove to the back of the court to keep the ball in play. After the play the Chargers benched erupted as they tied the game.
“We had to be on our toes the whole time, certainly we were challenged and I thought our guys did a good job of showing some focus and determination on our own and kind of matching what we had on the other side of the net,” Sullivan said.
The Pride, who are now 29-2 will travel to Carthage College in Wis. for the NCAA Division III semifinals.
“It’s always exciting playing in the National Championship tournament but we are going to stick to our plan, not get to high headed and just stay humble and work hard like we’ve been doing all season long,” said libero Eli Irizarry Pares
Featured photo courtesy of Reef Rogers.