Princeton, N.J. - February 26, 2011 - The Springfield College men's volleyball team hit a season-best .459 as it handled the host Princeton University Tigers, 3-1, in an EIVA Tait Conference match on Saturday afternoon. The Pride took the match by the scores 33-31, 25-12, 22-25, 25-21.
Springfield, which has won three of its last four matches, improves to 6-10, 1-4 in league play. The Tigers drop to 1-9, 0-6.
Mike Pelletier continued to have the hot hand as he posted a career-best 18 kills while hitting .455 from the left side. Springfield dominated the match out of the middle behind the incredible play of All-Americans Cal Palumbo and Greg Falcone. Palumbo hammered 14 kills on 17 errorless swings, hitting .824, while Falcone added 11 kills on 15 errorless swings, hitting .733. Alberto Bravo chipped in 16 kills, and Mike Becker delivered 54 assists as he led Springfield's efficient offense. Nick Ferry was credited with a match-high seven digs, and Falcone finished with a match-high seven blocks.
Princeton got a team-best 14 kills from freshman Jeff Stapleton and 13 from senior Vincent Tuminelli, who returned to the offensive lineup after dealing with an injury that forced him to the libero position. Both middles Brad Howard and Michael Dye added nine kills apiece, and Howard added three blocks. Junior setter recorded 43 assists and led Princeton to a .238 hitting percentage.
The first set was key, as the Tigers fought back from a game point to force extra points, and twice served for the win. Springfield responded both times and grabbed a 32-31 lead on a kill by Falcone. A hitting error by Princeton ended the game and put the visitors up 10.
Following a dominant win in the second game, Springfield saw the best of Princeton in the third. The Tigers played sideout ball for much of the set, but they took a late two-point lead on kills by Dye and Keenan McCarthy. A combo block by Tuminelli and Howard ended the set and gave Princeton new life, but Springfield took control midway through the fourth and closed the match with a 25-21 win.
S The Pride will return home to Blake Arena on Tuesday evening to take on Vassar in a non-conference match at 7:00 pm.
(Photo by Cindi Williamson of Fat Dog Fotos)