Men's Volleyball: Rivier Knocks Off No. 1 ranked, Springfield College 3-0

Men's Volleyball: Rivier Knocks Off No. 1 ranked, Springfield College 3-0

Story Written by Springfield College Sports Information | Story posted by Hayden Barbosa, Rivier University Assistant Sports Information Director

Springfield, Mass. - February 26, 2019 - The Springfield College men's volleyball team was swept by visiting Rivier in Blake Arena on Tuesday night by the set scores of 25-20, 25-21, 25-14. 

The Pride, which was ranked No. 1 in the latest AVCA Division III National Poll for the 37th-consecutive poll dating back to 2017.  The loss snapped Springfield's 46-match winning streak against Division III opponents, broke the Pride's 42-match home winning streak, marked the first time that Springfield has been swept by a Division III opponent since March 9, 2016 and was first time that the Pride was swept at home by a Division III team since February 14, 2014. 

Springfield put away eight kills on their first eight swings, and forced Rivier into a timeout at 11-6 after Kyle Jasuta's (Manhattan Beach, Calif) third kill of the evening.   Rivier would battle back and take a 17-16 lead following the longest rally of the evening, which was finished off by Smith's fifth kill in the frame, as the Pride burned its first timeout.  Rivier continued its surge and would pull away for the 25-20 victory as they hit at a .519 clip in the set. 

After the hosts gained a 4-2 lead on a kill from Brennan Brandow (Manorville, N.Y.) in transition, Rivier erupted for a 6-1 burst as the Pride whistled for an early timeout.  The Raiders lead would grow to 10-5, but Springfield responded with a 6-1 push to even the score at 11 after Kyle Jasuta (Manhattan Beach, Calif) hammered a ball out of the middle.  The visitors answered back with a 6-2 run, as three-straight attack errors by the Pride allowed Rivier to open up a 17-13 cushion.  A block from Jasuta and Asten Sesoko (Corona, Calif.) brough the Pride within 20-19, but the visitors would end the set on a 5-2 run to take a 2-0 lead in the match.  The Pride hit .000 in the stanza, committing 12 attack errors.  

A kill from Brandow made it 2-1 in favor of the visitors in the early going of the third.  However, Rivier would pour on the pressure to seize a 17-6 advantage, hitting .524 in the frame, and cruise to a 25-14 win.

Brennan Brandow totaled 10 kills and seven digs in the loss, while Kyle Jasuta produced eight kills and a pair of blocks.  Eli Gabriel Irizarry Pares (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) notched 26 assists, seven digs, and four kills, and Johjan Mussa Robles (Caguas, Puerto Rico) registered a match-high 13 digs.  Springfield was held to a .143 hitting percentage in the setback.  

Rivier hit at a .349 clip in the win, with Junior David Smith (Clinton, O.H.) leading the way with 12 kills.  Junior Pedro Campos (Downey, Calif) directed the Raiders offense with 29 helpers and senior Dashuan Graham (Highland Falls, N.Y.) controlled the net with eight blocks. 

Senior Francis Kokoros (Braintree, Mass) contributed 9 kills and 2 blocks.  While freshman Jack Normandin (Clifton Park, N.Y.) shined with 7 kills, 7 digs and 2 blocks. 

The Raiders return to the Muldoon Gymnasium, this Thursday, February 28th to face conference foes Lasell College (5-6, 1-1 GNAC).  While the Pride host Vassar College (NY) at home on Friday, March 1st at 1:00PM.