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No. 1 Men’s Volleyball Dispatches Quincy, 3-1

Springfield, Mass. – March 12, 2009Mark Ribeiro and Cal Palumbo combined for 30 kills and 12 blocks to lead the Springfield College men’s volleyball team to a 3-1 victory over Quincy on Thursday evening in Blake Arena. Springfield, winners of seven-straight matches, improves to 12-6 on the year while the Hawks drop to 12-19. Springfield, the top-ranked team in Division III, won by the game scores of 30-22, 27-30, 30-14, 32-30.

Ribeiro led the way with a match-high 16 kills, hitting .400, to go along with nine digs, five blocks, and three aces. Palumbo was terrific out of the middle for the Pride, as he registered 14 kills at a .571 clip, and added seven blocks. Andy Sipe also added 10 kills, hitting .500, to go along with six blocks. Eric Shoemaker handed out 50 assists in the victory and matched Palumbo’s match-high seven blocks. Brandon Waas was outstanding for Springfield as the senior libero posted a match-high 19 digs in the victory. Ryan Fredrickson also added nine kills and 11 digs for SC.

Tanner Wright recorded a triple-double in the loss as he tallied 15 digs, 15 assists, and 12 kills. Joseph Ascher was the only other Hawk with double-digit kills as he posted 11 kills in the loss. Dan Dresen chipped in with 21 assists, while Matt Bronson totaled 15 digs as Quincy’s libero.

Neither team could gain much of the lead in the opening game as the squads were tied at 18 after a Springfield service error. The Pride then put together a 5-0 run to take a 23-18 lead, capped off by a Fredrickson kill after an impressive rally. After a Peter Coley kill snapped the Pride’s five-point spurt, the Pride closed out the game on a 7-3 run to take the first set, 30-22.

In the second game, with the game tied at 26 all, the Pride handed the visitors the set as it committed three errors in the game’s final five points. Quincy used a Shawn Brannick ace and took advantage of an SC service error and ball handling error to even the match at one game apiece.

SC was unstoppable in the third frame as it hit .654, totalling 17 kills on 26 errorless swings. SC also totaled one solo stuff and nine block assists to shut down the Hawk attack, that was limited to a -.088 attack percentage in the frame. Palumbo pounded out five kills on five swings to go along with two blocks to help lead the Pride cruise to a 30-14 victory.

The fourth game featured 19 ties and 10 lead changes in a back-and-forth affair. The match seemed destined for a fifth and deciding game as the visitors held a 23-19 advantage after a Robbie Coughlin kill. However, the home squad would not be denied as it rattled off six of the game’s next eight points to tie the frame at 25. The teams then traded points until Springfield scored back-to-back points off kills from Pete Manguiat and Palumbo to win the game 32-30.

The Pride will now have a 15-days off until it returns for a crucial match on Friday, March 27 against rival Juniata. The winner of that match will be in the drivers seat for a berth in the 2009 Molten Division III Men’s Invitational Volleyball Championship.