Second-ranked Springfield returns from layoff with two three-set wins
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- Following a 16-day layoff, Springfield defeated both Vassar and Sacred Heart in straight sets on Saturday afternoon. Luis Vega tallied 37 kills on the day, including a career-best 27 kills against Sacred Heart.
Springfield, which was tied for first in this week's AVCA Division III coaches' poll, improved to 20-7 with the wins.
The Pride defeated the host Brewers in its first match 25-18, 26-24, 25-22 before besting Sacred Heart 25-22, 25-19, 25-22.
Springfield 3, Vassar 0
Sean Zuvich continued to carry a heavy load from the right side as he set a new career-high with 18 kills at a .344 clip. Vega stuffed the stat sheet with 10 kills, seven digs, and three blocks, and Jimmy O'Leary registered seven kills and five service aces. Keaton Pieper delivered 33 assists and Nick Ferry totaled a match-best nine digs.
Thanks to a .500 hitting percentage in the first set, Springfield cruised to a 25-18 win to take an early 1-0 lead in the match. However, things were much different in the second set as Vassar held a 24-21 advantage late in the frame. The freshman duo of Sean Peterson and Zuvich took over from that point, combining for five consecutive kills as the Pride rallied for the win.
In the third set, the Pride led by as much as seven midway through the frame and Vega slammed home his 10th kill of the match to complete the three game sweep.
Springfield 3, Sacred Heart 0
Vega put together one of the best performances in Springfield history against Sacred Heart as he was unstoppable in leading Springfield to the win. In three sets, he produced a career-best 27 kills while hitting .558 to go along with 12 digs.
The 27 kills is the most for a Springfield men's volleyball player since AJ Nally registered 32 kills in a five-set loss to NYU on April 4, 2009.
Ferry dazzled on defense for the Pride in the win over Sacred Heart, which plays in the Division I EIVA Conference, as he racked up 17 digs. Zuvich chipped in 12 kills and Pieper handed out 44 assists as he led Springfield's offense to a .385 hitting percentage.