Fairfield, Conn. - February 8, 2011 - The Springfield College men's volleyball team managed to hit just .058 as it dropped a three-set match to Sacred Heart on Tuesday evening. The Pioneers won by the game scores of 25-17, 25-16, 28-18.
The loss drops Springfield's record to 3-6, while Sacred Heart improved to 4-2. The Pride was once again atop the national rankings in today's AVCA Division III National Coaches Poll.
Tonight's match marks the first time in 16 meetings that Sacred Heart was able to defeat Springfield.
For the Pride, Mike Pelletier posted seven of Springfield's 21 kills and four the of Pride's 16 digs on the evening. Mike Becker finished the match with 20 assists, while both Greg Falcone and Cal Palumbo totaled four blocks apiece.
Both Enzo Mackenzie and Brendan Borsay posted 11 kills for the Pioneers. As a team, Sacred Heart hit .266 for the match and registered 38 kills, 17 more than the Pride. Tim Sadowski handed out 28 assists, while Mackenzie added a match-high eight digs. Patrick Sibley was the squad's most efficient attacker, slotting home six kills on nine swings en route to a .556 hitting percentage.
Sacred Heart jumped out to a quick 7-3 lead in the opening set with three points coming from Borsay. After the Pride called timeout, the Pioneers took three of the next four rallies to force the visiting team to call for another stoppage. Later in the frame, three straight Pioneer attacking errors let Springfield climb to within three at 18-15. Sacred Heart would close out the set with a 25-17 victory on back-to-back kills from Mackenzie and Borsay. The Pioneers held the visitors to a .000 hitting percentage (6-6-27) in the set and tallied four blocks.
Springfield fell into an early hole in the middle frame but rallied to knot the score at 8-8 on Palumbo's only kill of the match. SHU strung together four consecutive kills to take a 13-8 lead, the final blast coming from Sibley. The Pioneers again finished strong, this time going on a 5-1 spurt to take the second set 25-16. Tim Sadowski ripped one of Sacred Heart's seven service aces of the match for the final tally. The Pioneers totaled an impressive 17 kills and hit .414 to take a 2-0 overall lead.
The Pride came out firing in the third stanza, taking an 11-7 advantage on two straight kills from Pelletier and Alistair Matthews. SHU head coach Rob Machan used his first timeout and his players responded. Sacred Heart claimed eight of the next 11 points to grab an 18-14 cushion. Both offenses struggled in the set as SHU hit .174 compared to a .083 percentage for the Pride. The Pioneers held off Springfield down the stretch and Sibley hammered home the final point at 25-18 to secure the SHU victory.
Springfield returns to action on Friday evening when it hosts George Mason at 7:00 pm in an EIVA Tait Conference match.
(Photo by Cindi Williamson of Fat Dog Fotos)