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!