Raiders win means an NCAA quarterfinal vs. Springfield
The Rivier University and Springfield College men’s volleyball teams will have their deciding match on the biggest stage on Saturday – the NCAA Division III quarterfinals.
The Raiders and Pride split during the regular season, but they will face each other with the winner advancing to the Division III Final Four next weekend.
That’s because the 12th ranked Raiders topped Arcadia 3-0 on Friday in the first round of the Springfield, Mass. Regional, with the host Pride getting a bye and awaiting the winner.
Now the Raiders get to play the No. 1 team in the nation, whom they lost to 3-1 in Nashua but beat 3-0 in Springfield back in February.
Friday’s win for the 26-7 locals wasn’t easy, as they won 26-24, 28-26, and 25-23. Junior David Smith led the way with 12 kills, including a second set winner, while Francis Kokoros added 10. GNAC Offensive Player of the Year Pedro Campos had nine digs and a whopping 37 assists.
No team had a lead of more than five points in any of the three sets, the Raiders rallying from a five-point deficit in the second set. In addition to his winner, Smith helped Riv stave off an Arcadia set point two points earlier with a kill.
Quinn Baily and Austin Brass combined for 28 kills for Arcadia (26-11).