Santa Cruz, Calif. - January 15, 2010 - The Springfield College men's volleyball team dropped its opening match of the 2010 campaign as it fell at UC Santa Cruz in three games on Friday evening. The Banana Slugs bested the Pride by the game scores of 30-24, 30-25, 30-28.
Springfield, which was ranked second in the country to in the AVCA Preseason National Poll, drops to 0-1, while Santa Cruz, the third-ranked team in Division III, improves to 3-2.
AJ Nally had an impressive start to his senior year as he turned in a team-best 15 kills while hitting .345 to pace the Pride attack. Cal Palumbo was the only other member of SC to notch double-digit kills as the All-American posted 10 kills out of the middle. Nally added a team-best seven digs and classmate All-American Eric Shoemaker handed out 41 assists in the loss. Springfield was limited to just a .189 hitting percentage in the contest, compared to Santa Cruz's hitting percentage of .360.
Santa Cruz finished with 12.5 team blocks as Austin Einhorn posted seven stuffs in the victory. Brad Sullivan notched a match-high 16 kills at a .414 clip and both Einhorn and Justin Lam registered 10 kills for the hosts. Eric Rowell finished the match with 42 assists, six digs, and five blocks.
The Pride will now take on the top-ranked NAIA school in the country as it battles against Cal Baptist at 12:00 pm on Saturday afternoon.