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Bravo Leads Men's Volleyball Past Princeton, 3-1

Alberto Bravo Box Score

Springfield, Mass. - March 4, 2011 - Alberto Bravo racked up a match-high 20 kills while hitting .536 to lead the Springfield College men's volleyball team to a 3-1 win over Princeton in an important EIVA Tait Conference match on Friday evening in Blake Arena. The Pride took the match by the scores 25-27, 25-16, 25-16, 25-11.

Springfield, the top-ranked team in Division III, improves to 8-10, 2-4 in league play as it has now won five of its last six matches. The Tigers continue their slide as they fall to 1-10, 0-7 in league play after dropping their eighth-consecutive match.

Bravo put on a show for the hometown crowd as he pounded out 20 kills to go along with five blocks and three aces. Greg Falcone added seven kills, at a .545 clip, and five blocks, while fellow middle Cal Palumbo registered a match-high eight blocks. Mike Pelletier chipped in a match-high eight digs and three aces, and Mike Becker finshed the match with 38 assists, four blocks, five digs, and two aces.

As a team, Springfield put up 10 service aces for the second-straight match and posted their most blocks of the season, 13.5 team blocks.

For the Tigers, Michael Dye notched a team-best 11 kills and three aces, while Vincent Tuminelli added 10 kills. Davis Waddell ended the match with a team-best five digs and Scott Liljestrom delivered 22 assists. Princeton hit just .075 for the match.

In the opening set, the teams found themselves knotted at 11 after a Springfield service error. Princeton then poured on a 5-0 run, much in part to four Springfield attack errors, as the visitors opened up a 16-11 lead. The lead ballooned to 10 at 22-12 after another Springfield service error as Princeton appeared to breeze to a first set win. However, Springfield put together a miraculous 11-1 run to even the set at 23 after a huge block by Palumbo and Bravo. Princeton eventually pulled out the set after Dye connected on a kill and Bravo's attempt missed the back line to give Princeton a 27-25 win.

The Pride found its rhythm in the second set as it hit .524, led by Bravo's five kills in the game. A Howard kill made it 9-6 in favor of Springfield, but a double block by Falcone and Pelletier capped off a 6-3 burst by the Pride as it snagged a 15-9 advantage and forced a Princeton timeout. The Pride went on to lead by as many as 10 and took the second set 25-16.

Both squads struggled offensively in the third. With the scored tied at five-all early on, Springfield used a 11-4 spurt to earn a 16-9 lead. Bravo was dominant in the burst with three kills, an ace, and a block with Falcone. Princeton didn't go away as it battled back to get within four at 19-15, but Springfield put the set away in convincing fashion with six of the set's final seven points, including an emphatic ace by Bravo to give the Pride a 2-1 lead.

Springfield's tough serving translated into an early 9-1 lead in the fourth. Springfield didn't let off the gas as it hit .684, totaling 13 kills without an error to complete the four-set victory. Bravo notched six kills on all six of his swings, while Princeton was limited to just a .000 attack percentage.

The Pride will play for the third time this week in Blake Arena when it battles Penn State at 5:00 pm in EIVA Tait Conference action.

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Head Coach Charlie Sullivan

Charlie Sullivan With eight national championships to his credit, Charlie Sullivan will enter his 16th season as head coach of the men's volleyball team in 2014. In 15 previous years at the helm, Sullivan owns an overall record of 256-158 for a .618 winning percentage. Read more.

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