SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Juniata College men's volleyball came back from a two-set deficit to force a deciding fifth set, before falling to Spingfield College, 3-2, in an EIVA Tournament quarterfinal match on Saturday afternoon at Blake Arena.
Set scores for Springfield were 25-23, 25-19, 20-25, 22-25, and 15-13.
Springfield (17-14) advances to the EIVA Tournament semifinals against the winner of the NYU-George Mason quarterfinal, while Juniata closes its season with an 18-12 overall record.
Freshman opposite Alex McColgin (Hamburg, N.Y./Hamburg) paced Juniata with 20 kills on 32 swings for a .562 attack percentage, while senior outside hitter Chris Vrooman (Baden, Pa./Ambridge Area) also finished in double figures with 12 kills and a .222 attack clip. Vrooman logged a pair of aces for the match, while McColgin had a hand in three blocks and turned up five digs.
Middle Ben Wolff (Meadville, Pa./Meadville) and pin hitter Ross Madden (Richmond, Va./Deep Run) tallied eight kills, with Wolff tacking on five blocks.
Setter Mike Kraft (York, Pa./Eastern York) finished with 43 assists, while senior Dan Follett (Cranberry Township, Pa./Seneca Valley) sprawled for a team-high seven digs.
Juniata hit .300 for the match, well above its season average of .282, but Springfield attacked with impressive efficiency and finished with a .407 team hitting percentage. The Pride hit better than .500 in the second and fifth sets, complementing those numbers with .480 and .409 percentages in the first and third frames.
The Eagles had their best attack effort in the third set, hitting .565 and siding out at 80 percent (17-21) as they managed to avoid the three-set sweep to their archrivals. A three-point run early in the third set gave Juniata a 7-3 lead, and another three-point stretch shortly thereafter put the Eagles in front 10-4.
Juniata remained comfortably in front for the remainder of the third set, before a Springfield attack error handed the Eagles the win.
Springfield had the early advantage in set four, holding a 12-9 lead before Juniata began chipping away at the Pride. A McColgin kill followed by a Madden-Prout-McColgin block knotted the set at 14-14, and things remained neck-and-neck all the way to 22-22. A John Prout (Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township) block followed by a Prout-McColgin double block put Juniata on set point, and Springfield's Alberto Bravo committed an attack error to tie the match up 2-2 on sets.
The fifth set was another tight affair, and remained tied at 9-9 after a kill by Springfield's Alberto Bravo. From there, the Pride rattled off the next four points to grab a 13-9 lead before a Ryan Lilley service error halted the Springfield run. Two points later, a Kraft service error put Springfield on match point, 14-12, but McColgin narrowed the gap and tried to reverse Juniata's fortunes with a kill to make the score 14-13.
Springfield answered with a kill by Bravo, one of his match-high 24 on the day, to seal the win and send the Pride on to the EIVA semifinals.
Springfield had two other players post double-digit kill totals: Greg Falcone, who finished with 13, and Cal Palumbo with 12.