Springfield, Mass. - January 30, 2010 - The third-ranked Springfield College men's volleyball team hit .453 as a team as it handled visiting Rivier in straight sets on Saturday evening. Paced by a 12-kill, eight-block performance by Cal Palumbo, the Pride won by the game scores of 30-19, 30-22, 30-22.
Springfield, which entered the match ranked third in the country in the latest AVCA Division III National Poll, improves to 3-3 on the season. The Raiders were ranked fifth in the nation and dropped their first match of the season to fall to 8-1.
Palumbo continued his torrid 2010 campaign as he totaled 12 kills on 14 swings for an impressive .857 hitting percentage to go along with eight total blocks, including seven block assists. AJ Nally was the only other member of the Pride with double digit kills as he posted 11, hitting .400 for the match. Alberto Bravo chipped in with seven kills and five blocks, while Greg Falcone notched seven blocks in the win. Alex Harrison added six kills and a match-high seven digs. Eric Shoemaker directed an incredible efficient Pride attack, handing out 40 assists as Springfield hit .453 as a team. The Pride continued to block well as it recorded 17 team blocks, including 30 block assists.
For the visiting Raiders, who managed to hit just .080 for the match, Jared Anderozzi had a solid outing as he finished with a match-high 15 kills. This week's AVCA Division III National Player of the Week, Zach Hansen, delivered 33 assists in the loss. Taylor Lindner added six kills, three aces, and a pair of blocks for the visitors.
The Pride had its way in the opening stanza as it hit .500 for the frame, tallying 17 kills on 28 swings. After Alex Xenidis kill made it 8-7 in favor of the Pride, Springfield ran off a 7-3 run capped off by a Bravo kill to force a timeout. The Raiders could only get as close as four the rest of the way as Springfield took the opening stanza, 30-19.
In the second, Shoemaker had the Pride offense clicking as it hit at a .417 clip. Andreozzi knotted the game at five-all with a kill of his own, only to have Springfield's block take over. Using three double blocks from Falcone and Bravo, along with a solo by Bravo, Springfield opened up a 8-3 run to take control of the game at 13-8. Andreozzi tried to bring his team back as he got them within four at 21-17 after a kill, and then delivered a pair of aces to make it a 28-22. Springfield took a took a two-game advantage as Harrison tallied a kill and a Rivier attack error ended the set.
Plenty of new faces saw the court in the third and final game as Springfield continued to put the ball away, totalling 16 kills on a .444 percentage. The Raiders hung close to start as they trailed by one, 8-7, after a Springfield service error. But as they had all game, Springfield put together a quick burst, opening up a 14-9 advantage capped off by a Rivier attack error. Springfield cruised the rest of the way as Jeff Gutmann and Mike Pelletier came off the bench to combine for seven kills while hitting .545.
Springfield will now prepare for an upcoming weekend filled with important conference matches as it travels to take on George Mason on Friday night and Penn State on Saturday.