Springfield, Mass. - January 27, 2009 - The No .1 Springfield College men's volleyball team rallied to defeated Harvard in five games on Tuesday evening in Blake Arena. The Pride, which improved to 3-0 on the season, won by the game scores of 13-30, 30-18, 26-30, 30-26, 15-8.
It was all Harvard in the opening game as the Crimson jumped out to an 10-2 lead and never looked back. Springfield, which hit a paltry -.261 in the opening frame, had trouble finding its rhythm as Harvard amassed six team blocks and hit an impressive .476 as it took the first game, 30-13. Brady Weissbourd was outstanding for Harvard in the first game as the middle hitter connected for seven kills on eight swings, hitting .875 to go along with six block assists.
The second game was a different story as Springfield capitalized on four straight Harvard attack errors to race out to an 11-2 lead. The Pride, which led by as many as 14 in the game (19-5), hit .429 for the frame and limited the visitors to a -.034 attacking percentage. AJ Nally powered the way for the Pride in the second game as he hammered out five kills on six swings.
Neither team was able to gain a big advantage in the third set as the score went back and forth. Harvard appeared to gain control as Springfield committed four consecutive attack errors, giving the Crimson an 18-14 lead. Springfield would battle back, cutting Harvard's lead to one, 21-20, after a triple block from Eric Shoemaker, Cal Palumbo, and Nally. However, Harvard was too strong as it pulled away for a 30-26 win, capped off by another Weissbourd kill.
In the fourth game, Springfield's offense began to click for the first time all match as the Pride recorded 19 kills as a team, hitting .412. With the score tied at 24 all, Springfield closed out the game on a 6-2 run, capped off by kills from Palumbo and Shoemaker, forcing a fifth and decisive game.
The score see-sawed in the fifth game until the Pride block came up big. SC used double-blocks from Palumbo and Nally and Palumbo and Shoemaker to gain a 9-6 lead, forcing a Harvard timeout. Springfield went on to take the fifth game 15-8 as it hit .500, compared to Harvard's .000 hitting percentage.
Palumbo was terrific for the Pride as the sophomore finished with 13 kills, hitting .556 to go along with three blocks. Nally added 13 kills and six digs, while Mark Ribeiro chipped in with 11 kills. Shoemaker had a solid stat line with 33 assists, six kills hitting .750, six digs, five blocks, and a pair of aces for the Pride in just four games.
Weissbourd finished with a match-high 21 kills, hitting .405, and a match-high 10 blocks. Nikola Ivica was the only other member of the Crimson with double digit kills as he registered 15 kills to go along with nine digs in the loss. Gil Weintraub handed out 49 assists.
Both teams struggled from the service line as Springfield had 22 errors and Harvard had 21.
Springfield returns to action on Thursday evening when it welcomes local-foe Elms College. First serve is slated for 7:00 pm.