After three wins over the weekend against Hunter, Mt. St. Vincent, and Newbury, we have been gearing up for one of the biggest tournaments of the year, the Juniata College Invitational. We will be playing four matches, including two matches against Juniata and Nazareth, two of the tougher teams in Division III.
The preparation in practice has been difficult as the team has been pushing each other to achieve a higher level of play. Between practice and working with our strength and conditioning staff, the team has been getting stronger everyday.
In addition to our volleyball prep, a couple of the guys had exams, papers, and class work has been rescheduled and assigned for later dates. It was important to take care of the academics commitments especially since SCVB departs on Thursday night after practice for a 7 hour road trip to Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.
This is a huge weekend for us as we get a chance to compete with two teams that are ranked in the top 10 nationally in matches that could have major playoff implications come April. Let’s crush it SCVB!
The highly anticipated 2012 Morgan Classic Hall of Fame tournament has come and gone and has crowned a new victor, Springfield College. For the first time ever in the tournaments history, SCVB was able to get the win in the championship match. While only appearing in the championship four times prior to this in the tournament’s 25-year history, the Pride was fairly new to this senario. The win, on the other hand, was handled as if we had been there many times before.
The first match was pitted us against a Division III rival, UC Santa Cruz. Ranked third in the country, this was a major victory for us. A huge crowd gathered in “white-out” fashion to support us, and the intensity from the crowd made Blake Arena a difficult place to play in for the opposition. We were able to control the intensity of the first two sets by sticking to our game plan and level of play. We took the first set, 25-18, before showing lots of fight in the second. We battled back from being down 24-21 and rallied to win in extra points. The crowd was going wild. The third set featured a different Santa Cruz team and a flatter Springfield team. After the third set, we were able to bounce back quickly and take the fourth set. For only the fifth time in tournament history, SC was headed to the championship match against Lees-McRae.
With another great crowd to play in front of, SCVB took the court again against Lees-McRae College. We knew what we had to do and that history was on the line. Thanks to some great playing from Angel Perez, Nick Ferry, and Greg Falcone, we were able to sweep Lees-McRae in three sets. This capped off the first time in history that Springfield College has hoisted the Morgan Classic trophy. A congrats goes out to Mike Pelletier and Nick Ferry for making the All-Tournament team and Angel Perez as the MVP of the tournament.
Finally, thank you to all of the SCVB parents, past and present, who came to support us as well the rest of our fans. All weekend, the arena was packed and you all made it difficult for the other teams to even think on the court. Especially you Green-Man.
The Volleyball Hall of Fame Morgan Classic is held a Springfield College every year and hosts some of the teams in the country. This year it features Springfield College, University of California: Santa Cruz, Cal Baptist University, and Lees-McRae College.
This event is a special tradition to Springfield College and a testament to what a Division III program can achieve. The highly anticipated matchup on Friday is a showdown between Springfield College and UC Santa Cruz. The most recent AVCA coaches poll has Springfield College ranked #2 and UC Santa Cruz at a close #3. The winner of this match goes on to the final at 8 p.m. on Saturday night.
Overall this event is great opportunity to watch and support not only Springfield College men’s volleyball but college volleyball being played at a high level. Everyone is welcome and please attend!
Over the last week SCVB has played Emmanuel College, Johnson and Wales University, and #5 ranked MIT. All of these matches are in-region and are must win bids in order to win an at-large bid in April. We were able to beat every team in three sets, while keeping the level of play and communication high on our end of the court.
We played Johnson and Wales in Dana Gymnasium and started off hot right from the start. With a lot of different guys getting playing time, we didn’t miss a beat and were able to win the match. I feel the level of play that we have in practice, added to the cohesion we have on and off the court, enables us to play with anyone and have a positive outcome.
Later that day we squared off against Emmanuel in Blake. We beat this team earlier in the week and were able to focus on the weaknesses were learned and exploited them. Again, we never looked back en route to a win.
On Wednesday, we hosted MIT, which was an anticipated of two nationally ranked teams without a conference. It was again a must win. We were prepared mentally before the game and practiced really hard throughout the week. After a shaky first seven points, we were able to pick up from the weekend and sweep MIT in straight sets.
On Wednesday February 1st, SCVB traveled to play Emmanuel College. This was an important match for our team because it was not only a Division III match but a regional match. In order to secure an at-large bid for the NCAA tournament we need to win as many of these in-region matches as we can.
In the first set, we got off to a little bit of a slow start and were plagued with serving and attacking errors. Once we were able to get our heads on straight it wasn’t too late and we were able to clean up our play. We used a huge block from Evan Acanfora to steal the opening game 26-24.
Game two featured a completely different team. With positive play all around and a monster offense led by Jimmy “Broleary,” we won 25-14. Finally in set three, although a closer game, we were able to take control of the match and grind it out to beat Emmanuel in straight sets.
This win has major playoff implications for our team and is another step towards the NCAA tournament in April. This Saturday we have two other Division III in-region matches coming up, featuring Johnson and Wales University and once again Emmanuel College. These are both must win games for SCVB.