Loretto, Pa. - March 28, 2010 - After dropping the opening set, the Springfield College men's volleyball team stormed past St. Francis for an important four-set win in EIVA Tait Conference action. The Pride won by the game scores of 16-30, 30-28, 30-28, 30-28.
Springfield split its weekend trip through Pennsylvania and improves to 14-8, 4-5 in league action.
AJ Nally had a tremendous game for Springfield as he tallied a match-high 24 kills at a .450 clip to go along with seven digs. Alberto Bravo came off the bench and provided a huge spark with 15 kills, while Mike Pelletier stuffed the stat sheet with 11 kills, 10 digs, and four blocks. Eric Shoemaker registered 52 assists as he led the Springfield offense.
The Red Flash opened the first set with a 6-0 run, getting a kill from Pete Freyer to open the proceedings. The lead would balloon to 10-3 as the Red Flash continued to pound away at the Pride, with Nick Rivett setting the lead with a kill. The Pride seemed unusually error-prone in the set, hitting just -.194, and collected only five kills in the set. The Red Flash continued to push away, with Patrick McManamon setting up the set point with a kill, and ultimately got the 30-16 victory on an attack error.
The second set was much closer, as the Pride tightened up and got the benefit of their strong middles. The second set featured 24 tie scores and six lead changes, with neither team able to put together a string of points. The Red Flash were able to at least not relinquish the lead for most of the set, not falling behind to the Pride until a Cal Palumbo and Shoemaker block of Tyler Mattera put the Pride ahead 19-18 and forced a timeout by the hosts. The Red Flash would now be playing catch-up and ultimately tied the score at 28-28; however, a Bravo kill, followed by a triple-block from Shoemaker, Palumbo, and Pelletier, sealed the 30-28 win for Springfield.
Now much more confident and determined, Springfield was able to keep the Red Flash at bay for much of the third and fourth sets. The Pride never trailed in the third set and often kept the Flash at arm's length by disrupting their ability to string points together. While the Red Flash hit .462 in the third set, it was no match for the hot-hitting pride, who hit an absurd .677 in the third stanza to again win 30-28. They would put the Flash away in the fourth set again, 30-28, scoring the final two points after the Red Flash rallied to tie the score at 28 on a Jordan Varee kill and a Bravo setting error. With match point, Pelletier got a touch call on his swing from the outside to complete Springfield's comeback.
The Red Flash were led in kills by Varee, who had 22 to go along with a team-high nine digs and seven blocks. Nick Rivett also posted 20 kills to go with seven digs. McManamon had five kills and seven blocks, and Freyer finished with 13 kills. John Wappler finished with eight digs, and Alex Fortney came off the bench to add four kills, three digs, and two blocks.
The Pride will lace them up again on Wednesday evening when it takes on non-conference rival Vassar College at 7:00 pm.