SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Feb. 23, 2008-Paced behind a game-high 33 kills from the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, Juan Figueroa, the University of Southern California Trojans captured the 21st annual Volleyball Hall of Fame Morgan Classic on Saturday evening in a five-game thriller over George Mason.
USC prevailed past the Patriots by the game scores of 24-30, 30-23, 27-30, 30-20, 16-14.
Figueroa took control of the match when it counted the most as he hammered out back-to-back kills with the fifth game tied at 14 to propel the Trojans to victory. The senior outside hitter finished with 33 kills on a .423 clip. Setter Jimmy Killian was brilliant directing the USC attack as he dished out 71 assists to go with 10 digs. Murphy Troy hammered out 19 kills to go along with seven digs while C.J. Schellenberg recorded 11 kills in the win. Luke Morris recorded a match-high 15 digs.
Photo above includes the USC contingent of All-Tourney players, including Murphy Troy, MVP Juan Figueroa, and Jimmy Killian.
For the Patriots, Kyle Gramit led the way with a team-best 22 kills and seven blocks, while Hudson Bates added 14 kills.
The Springfield College men's volleyball team used a spirited effort but fell at the hands of Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) in three games in the first game of the day on Saturday evening. The Pride fell by the scores of 30-27, 30-27, 30-27.
AJ Nally led the way for the Pride with 13 kills and 13 digs to go along with a trio of blocks. Ryan Fredrickson added nine kills, seven digs, and three blocks, while teammate Cal Palumbo registered seven kills at a .429 clip to go with three blocks.
IPFW was paced by a trio of players in double digit kills led by Jason Yhost's game-high 17 kills. C.J. Macias chipped in with 16 kills and 11 digs, while Josh Stewart recorded 10 kills and five blocks out of the middle.
The All-Tournament team consisted of Fredrickson of Springfield, Macias of IPFW, Bates and Gramit of George Mason, and Troy, Killian, and Figueroa of USC. Eric Shoemaker from Springfield was presented with the Sportsmanship Award, while Macias earned the spiking contest crown and USC’s Riley McKibbin the serving contest.
Springfield returns to action on Friday evening (Feb. 29) when it travels to take on the NYU Violets at 7:00 pm.