Springfield, Mass. - March 31, 2010 - The Springfield College men's volleyball team cruised past visiting Vassar in three games on Wednesday evening in non-conference action. The Pride swept the match by the scores of 30-17, 30-24, 30-27 as Greg Falcone set a new program record for block assists in a season with 137.
The Pride improves its record to 15-8 on the season, while the Brewers drop to 17-8.
Falcone, who finished the match with five block assists, set the new program record on his final block as he teamed with classmate Evan Acanfora late in the fifth game. Falcone broke the old mark set by former Springfield great Andy Sipe. Sipe had originally set the record in 2007 when he totaled 136 block assists in 99 games. To date, Falcone has 137 in 85 games.
Fourteen different players saw action in the game tonight for the Pride, with nine of them recording at least one kill. Jeff Gutmann had a team-best nine kills, while Alberto Bravo chipped in with eight kills of his own. Cal Palumbo registered seven kills on 11 errorless swings for a hitting percentage of .727, and Falcone and Acanfora each totaled six kills for the Pride. Brad Seislove set the final two games for SC and totaled 24 assists. AJ Nally played just the opening game but still tied for the team lead in digs with Acanfora as each registered seven.
Phil Tully finished with a match-high 14 kills for the Brewers, while Evan Fredericksen added 10 kills and nine digs. John Knowow led the Brewer attack with 31 assists. Christian La Du totaled a team-best 10 digs and Patrick Donohue registered a team-best three blocks.
As a team, Springfield hit .368 for the match, while Vassar was limited to a .098 hitting percentage.
After trailing 4-3 early in the opening game, Springfield reeled off a 6-0 run, fueled by three consecutive overpass kills by Palumbo to make it a 9-4 contest. The Pride cruised the rest of the first set as it hit at a .425 clip as a team and sided out at 88%. Palumbo and Nally had their way in the set as the duo combined for 10 kills on 15 swings without committing an error.
Head Coach Charlie Sullivan inserted a brand new lineup in the second game, but Springfield still had similar results. Gutmann and Bravo each pounded out five kills apiece to lead Springfield to a .433 hitting percentage in the second frame. A Matthew Elgin kill brought the visitors within two at 21-19. SC, however, would rattle off a 7-2 run, capped off by an Acanfora kill to take control of the set at 28-21.
Even more new faces saw action in a much closer third game. A Donahue kill provided Vassar with a 20-18 lead late in the set, only to have another key Springfield run be the difference. This time SC used a 6-2 burst, capped off by another Palumbo kill, to grab a 24-22 lead. Tully knocked home his 14th kill of the match to make it a two-point game at 29-27, but Falcone ended the match with a kill out of the middle to complete the sweep.
The Pride will now prepare for a very important match on Saturday afternoon against rival NYU. If Springfield is able to defeat the Violets, they will earn a berth into the 2010 Molten Division III Men's Invitational Volleyball National Championship.