Wild Weekend

With four matches scheduled last weekend, three of them being in-region matches against Baruch College, Wentworth Institute of Technology, and Kean University, and the fourth against our biggest rival Juniata College, Blake Arena was sure to be electric.

Friday consisted of Kean at 5 p.m. and the Juniata at 7 p.m. With both starters and bench players getting fair amount of time, we beat Kean in three sets, which was key because they were previously second in the region. Beating them helped us secure our hold on an at-large bid a little tighter.

Everyone was pumped up for the second game to start, and to get another shot at Juniata after suffering our only D-III loss to them earlier in the year. After campaigns on Facebook to get a crowd; students, friends, and family poured into Blake receiving awesome “Welcome to the Block Party” t-shirts from the athletic department. There was definitely an excitement in the air that only meant Springfield was playing Juniata.

We started off in the first set on fire, every ball dropping for our point and took the first game 25-21. The second set was a different story. We really struggled in the serve receive department and quickly dug ourselves a monstrous hole at 13-4. After a key timeout where we talked about following the game-plan and slowly chipping away at the lead, we were able to bring back the set to 13-12 but couldn’t hold on and lost 25-21. In similar fashion we couldn’t recover in the third set either, again bringing it close but losing 25-18.

Finally before the fourth set, the team got together and decided to finally punch back because our season depended on it. Finding ourselves down 20-15 and with our backs against the use, we used some great defense and serve receive, and benefited from a HUGE overpass kill by Jeff Gutmann we were able to force a game five.

The fifth set was all SC. In front of a standing crowd we were able to pull out a deuce game 16-14 with 11 kills for our 16 points. Before you knew it, the students were rushing the court in a great victory for SC.

The next day we downed past Baruch and Wentworth with the day capped off by Senior Night, where Gutmann the hero of game four of Juniata, got to put on a clinic of his own. Attacking at 16-0-22 he put on an impressive show that will definitely be remembered. Congrats Gut!

With Monday off, many of us were able to rest our feet, watch movies and do homework. Now once again, all of us are itching to get back into the gym tomorrow to get ready for next weekend. With two away tournaments or nine matches left there is still a lot to work towards and look forward to. Keep on rolling SCVB!

Hello from Spring Break

After two regional matches on the Wednesday and Thursday before spring break, we all had our eyes set on going home and getting away from SC for a little while.

Winning both matches even though the team didn’t play well was a huge accomplishment for our team. From beating NYU in five sets when we really showed a lack of concentration and hunger on the court to then defeating Endicott in three sets the next night, I think showed how tough our team really is. These were two great wins for us going into spring break, as we then take the week off and to go enjoy with our families.

I headed home to Long Island, NY and hosted Tyler Tanaka.  Our plans have been made to turn our brains off for a week and not even look at or utter the word volleyball. So far the week has consisted of video games, television, and our lifting regiment that we were sent home with from our strength and conditioning coach.

With only three days left of break we are both once again itching to get back on the court after getting exactly what the doctor ordered. I know the countless teammates feel the same way and with three tournament weekends in a row, this is a time where our season can be made or broken.

Can’t wait to see everyone back at SC!

Away at Baruch

On Saturday, SCVB overcame a two-game deficit  to beat 14th ranked Baruch in five sets in a match that was much closer than we were anticipating. After a week of just practice and no match play, we came out of the gate slow in every set, playing lower than our potential.

The first two sets consisted of a Springfield team that had trouble passing and seemed to be a little jumpy and anxious when some points didn’t go our way. In both games, Baruch was able to separate themselves for most of the game until it was too late. In both sets we were able to rally for a comeback but came short 21-25 in the first set and 24-26 in the second.

The third and fourth sets on the other hand, proved to show a team with a more confidence and communication. We were able to get Baruch out of system by serving tougher and forcing the setter to run a more predictable offense. This helped us in the long run as our blocking and defense was able to get us a win in both sets to force the tie breaker set.

The fifth set was all Springfield. After trading points in the beginning of the game, we were able to get a lead and force the switch at eight. Evan Acanfora was able to stretch the lead by two more with his float serve and we never looked back.

Quick shout out to the  Springfield fans who were in attendance (I think we had as many as Baruch), thank you to the Matthew’s, the Pagano’s, the Falcone’s, and the Lilley’s for coming out to support us.

Back to the Drawing Board

Even after five days there is still a sour taste in our mouths after being dealt a loss by Juniata College last Friday night. The game itself was quick and done in three sets and we left the arena headed back for the hotel. Going 1-1 for the day, as we beat Lancaster Biblical College in three sets, was not what SCVB really had in mind.

Although it seemed like the weekend was already a failure for most of us, we still had two matches to play against Nazareth College, who bested us in the Molten Championship last April and Thiel College. It would have hurt us more to go home 1-3 and still looking at the Juniata game, so our only choice was to push forward.

After a team meeting Friday night, we were able to pick up our play and looked like the team we were supposed to look like. First playing Nazareth at 12 p.m., we were able to dispatch them in four sets with solid defense, passing, and serving. That was definitely a bittersweet win for us, with last April still fresh in our minds. The Maroon Crew was then able to beat Thiel with in three sets as SCVB left Pennsylvania with a 3-1 record over the weekend.

With only one match this week on Saturday night against Baruch, we are looking forward to a week of intense practices that are now underway. Dissecting our fundamentals and improving to make ourselves better are the advantages of five practices in a row. Getting back into the weight room and catching up on our studies allows us to focus on volleyball when we need to the most.

The Juniata match can be seen as a blessing in disguise because we can now re-focus ourselves and re-evaluate our play. This new focus has definitely brought back intensity and determination in practice between everyone. Although the sour taste acts as a reminder to what happened, it is also another driving force to our ultimate goal at the end of the season.