Newark, N.J. - February 16, 2010 - Despite dropping the opening two sets of the match, the Springfield College men's volleyball rallied past Rutgers for a thrilling five-game victory on Tuesday evening. Alistair Matthews continued his torrid play as he put down 25 kills while hitting .537 in the victory. The Pride won the match by the game scores of 25-30, 18-30, 31-29, 30-28, 15-11.
Springfield entered the match ranked third in the country in today's AVCA Division III National Poll and improves to 6-4 on the season. The Scarlet Raiders dropped to 1-8 as it suffered its fifth five-set loss of the season.
Matthews, who is a native of Freehold, N.J., has made a huge impact for the Pride as he has led Springfield to three-straight victories. In that span, Matthews is hitting .540 while averaging 4.82 kills per set.
AJ Nally was the only other member of the Pride to record double-digit kills as he finished with 14 kills, 11 digs, and six blocks. Freshman Greg Falcone, the nation's leader in blocks per game, posted a team-best eight blocks and chipped in with seven kills on nine swings, hitting .778 for the match. All-American Eric Shoemaker registered 52 assists, seven digs, four blocks, three kills, and two aces in the victory.
After combining for 17 attack errors in the opening two games, Springfield totaled 10 attack errors in the final three sets, including just three in the final two games.
The Scarlet Raiders, who fell 3-2 for the third time in as many home matches this season, got 21 kills and five assisted blocks from sophomore outside hitter Marcin Midura to lead a balanced attack. Junior setter Jeff Zornig registered 61 assists and got in on eight blocks for Rutgers-Newark. Senior middle hitter Jon Keller piled up 11 assisted blocks, made 13 kills and delivered five aces for the Raiders.
The Pride will complete its three-game road swing over the weekend as it heads south for a pair of matches. On Saturday, Springfield will suit up against rival New York University, before heading to take on George Mason for a conference clash on Sunday afternoon.