By Chris Gionta
The Springfield College men’s volleyball team defeated Wentworth Institute of Technology in three straight sets on Saturday night at Blake Arena for their second victory in a row, improving their record to 15-2.
When head coach Charlie Sullivan said on Friday, “We need everyone to contribute,” he did not know that he was previewing the sentiment showcased with the team on Saturday night.
Jarrett Anderson and Liam York carried their mojo over from the previous night with 12 and 11 kills, respectively. Brennen Brandow (eight kills) and Chris Parker (seven kills) also contributed the way they have all season. Anderson, York and Parker all hit at an efficient percentage of .400 or more.
“Diversification in your offense is good,” Sullivan said. “If you just rely on one person the other team knows where you’re going.”
Despite Wentworth’s 11-3 record, Springfield never seemed to be in danger. After a 4-4 tie score in the first set, the Pride grabbed a lead and held on for a 25-18 victory. Following a 6-6 tie score in the second set, they took the lead and did not give it up en route to a 25-20 victory. The third set did not feature any tie scores, as Springfield scored the first point and did not lose the lead in their 25-18 win.
“It’s just a matter of us staying at a consistently high level,” Sullivan said. “So if it goes down a little bit, it seems like everything’s falling off like in game three. But it’s just that we played at such a high level previously.”
The tone of the game was set immediately. As a team that has sometimes struggled to start fast, they were able to put the foot on the gas quicker than usual.
“It’s very important (to get off to a fast start),” Parker said. “Especially with a young group of guys, once we get the momentum going, we’re really hard to stop. So if we can start that as early as possible, it’s always helpful.”
The team also understands how important it is to evolve despite being the No. 2 NCAA Div. III team in the country.
“Coach (Sullivan) had this pre-game speech where he said, ‘We’re a good team right now, but we need to change a couple things to be special,”’ Parker said.
“We had this mindset going into the game: ‘We’re gonna be crisp. We’re gonna be special.’ And I think we did that.”
The Pride only have 10 regular season matches remaining, and six of them are on the road.
“We’re definitely trying to get better,” Sullivan said. “We’re in a part of our schedule now where we need to step up and get to another level, so we’re focused on that. And I think they did a good job of getting a little better than last night.”
Springfield will finish their current home stretch on Tuesday, Mar. 3 in Blake Arena at 6 p.m. against St. John Fisher College.
Photo courtesy of Joe Arruda