Fairfax, Va. - February 21, 2010 - The Springfield College men's volleyball team picked up a huge conference win on the road on Sunday afternoon as it defeated rival George Mason in four sets in an EIVA Tait Conference contest. Springfield won the match by the set scores of 34-32, 26-30, 30-28, 30-26.
The Pride has now rattled off five-straight victories and improves to 8-4 overall, 2-2 in league action. George Mason’s record falls to 3-6 overall and 1-2 in EIVA Tait Division matches.
This marks the first time that Springfield has defeated Geroge Mason since Feb. 14, 2004, when the Pride defeated the Patriots in four games in Blake Arena.
"I thought our weekend commitment to a high level of focus was impressive," commented head coach Charlie Sullivan.
Alistair Matthews paced the Pride with 15 kills and 15 digs, while AJ Nally tallied 10 kills and 14 digs. Mike Pelletier added 13 kills and Cal Palumbo rounded out Springfield's offense with 10 kills of his own. The nation's leading blocker, Greg Falcone posted nine blocks in the win. Eric Shoemaker handed out 50 assists to go along with six digs for the Pride. As a team, Springfield finished with 16.5 team blocks, including 10 solo stuffs.
The first set could have gone either way as it featured 16 ties and four lead changes. The Patriots took an early 7-2 lead, forcing Sullivan to take a quick timeout. Following the timeout, the Pride battled back to tie the score at 13. The two sides went back-and-forth until Springfield College scored the final two points on a double-block by Matthews and Falcone, followed by an attack error by Mason’s Andrew Dentler on set point, to take a 34-32 victory.
The Patriots evened the score at one set apiece by taking the second set by a final score of 30-26. With the score knotted at 26, Mason won the next point on a kill by junior Eric Lucas, who nearly reached a double-double in the match with 11 kills and nine digs, off a nice feed from Javier Perez. Following the kill by Lucas, stout defense at the net by the Patriots forced the Pride into three consecutive attack errors to close out the set.
The third set was tied at 25 when the Pride went on a 3-0 run to put the Patriots in a 28-25 hole. George Mason was unable to overcome the deficit, losing to the Pride by two points, 30-28. Springfield College went on to take the fourth set as well to close the match and defeat Mason for the first time since the 2004 season.
Luke Maloney finished with 14 kills, 12 digs and two aces in a losing effort. Perez led all players with 60 assists and 15 digs. Dentler led the Patriots with 18 kills on 38 swings.
Springfield will battle against George Mason once again on Thursday evening in a key conference rematch. First serve is slated for 7:00 pm