By Joe Arruda
After a quick sweep of Regis on Wednesday, the top-ranked Springfield College men’s volleyball team won its sixth-straight match and improved to 19-1 on the season.
The Springfield bench celebrates every point with different chants and sometimes puts on a bit of a show for the fans – it’s part of the culture. On Wednesday, the ace celebration included lifting first-year libero Nico Mejia into the air.
Jarrett Anderson put the bench to work from behind the service line to finish off a dominating 25-7 first set win. After Anderson earned three straight service aces, Regis called a timeout. Following the timeout, he added two more.
Anderson finished the first set with seven aces; Mejia was a head and shoulders above the rest of the team seven times.
Springfield cruised through the next two sets, 25-17 and 25-16; and finished the match in almost exactly an hour. First-year Noah Weislo recorded a career-best and team-high 10 kills on an impressive .714 hitting percentage in the match after earning the start.
“We try not to focus on results here,” Weislo said. “We always try to focus on the process, getting better, playing together, playing for each other. And if we can play cohesively, we’re always gonna be in that spot.”
Noah is just one of the Weislo brothers who joined the Pride this fall and as Springfield jumped ahead Wednesday, his twin, Ethan, rotated onto the court. Ethan, a setter, recorded 10 assists, two digs and a kill in the set he played.
With three matches scheduled for the next three days, including a road trip to Rivier on Thursday, it was important that the starters handled business early before Sullivan could rotate bench players in.
“We’re just really getting our rhythm back,” Sullivan said. “We’re just constantly trying to get in sync so it was a good night to get some different guys in and try to get everyone on the same page.”
Approaching the final stretch of the regular season, with just seven matches remaining on the schedule, the Pride is doing what it can to play up to the championship standard that Sullivan expects.
“Coming in, everybody’s always welcoming, all the upperclassmen, they’re super welcoming and I think that’s just the culture we’ve built around here and Coach Sullivan, we’ve been doing a good job with that,” Noah Weislo said. “Whether you’re on the bench or on the court, all the guys are always supporting all the time. We’re always giving 100%”
Springfield has climbed back up to No. 1 in the AVCA National Coaches Poll after the team dropped to No. 2 when it lost its only match of the season to Lasell, 3-1, on March 1.
The Pride will head to Rivier University on Thursday for a 6 p.m. start before hosting a tri-match with SUNY Poly and Eastern Nazarene on Saturday, March 30. Those matches will begin at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.
Photo by Joe Arruda