The last home game for the Springfield College men’s volleyball team was Mar. 24 when the Pride defeated Wentworth 3-0 to claim the Springfield Invitational.
Springfield spent the remaining three weeks of the regular season on the road, winning all nine games – adding to the Pride’s current 18-game winning streak overall. Springfield finished the year with a record of 30-5, which is the most wins in program history.
On Sunday, the men’s volleyball team sat and watched as Springfield, the host team, was selected as the No. 1 overall seed in the inaugural NCAA Division III Men’s Volleyball Championship, which will be held in Blake Arena Apr. 27-29.
“Our schedule was really good in and out of the region, so that really helped out a lot,” said coach Charlie Sullivan.
The Pride have the luxury of staying on campus and have not lost inside Blake Arena at all this season, defeating all 15 of their opponents.
“It’s definitely a positive,” said Sullivan. “We like to play here and our fans are so supportive. I feel we have an advantage with the fan section we have in the bleachers.”
Springfield has played four teams in the bracket: UC-Santa Cruz, Kean, Hunter and Nazareth and holds wins over each of those clubs.
Although the only Division III team to beat the Pride this season, Juniata is not one of the nine teams remaining. However Sullivan sees no comfort in not having to go through Juniata to claim his seventh national title.
“Five years ago Juniata, NYU and Springfield were significantly better than the rest of Division III and now that gap is closing,” said Sullivan.
Springfield received the only first round bye and will play the winner of Baruch – a team they beat twice this season, or the other local team, Elms. Baruch and Elms play on this Saturday in the play-in game.
Terrence Payne may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org