Springfield, Mass. – April 4, 2009 – Despite a 32-kill, 10-dig performance from AJ Nally, the Springfield College men’s volleyball team dropped a five-game match to New York University on Saturday evening in the Pride’s regular season home finale.
Game scores from an NYU point of view were 26-30, 30-24, 24-30, 30-28, 16-14.
With the loss, the second-ranked Pride fall to 14-8 on the year, while the ninth-ranked Violets improve to 7-19.
Nally was the lone member of the Pride to reach double-digit kills as he racked up 32 on the night, hitting an impressive .404. He added 10 digs as well for Springfield, while Brandon Waas was terrific as Springfield’s libero, posting a match-high 18 digs. Andy Sipe added nine kills and five blocks and setter Brad Seislove handed out 56 assists to go along with five blocks and seven digs.
For the visitors, Devin Zolnowski totaled 18 kills, nine digs, and seven blocks to lead the way, while Michael Gerragonio added 17 kills. Ryan Limb also posted 11 kills, while Ilan Goldstein recorded 13 digs and 51 assists in the victory.
The Pride was in complete control in the opening frame as it jumped out to a 21-10 advantage after a Jeff Gutmann kill. NYU started to chip away at the big lead and eventually got within two, 27-25, after a Ferragonio kill. However, as he did all night, Nally put the Pride on his back and registered a pair of big kills en route to the 30-26 victory.
The second game was a much different story as the Violets jumped out to a seven-point lead, 17-10, after a Limb kill out of the middle. Springfield struggled as it hit -.029 and only got as close as four as NYU evened the match at a game apiece after winning 30-24.
In a back and forth third game, a double block from Sipe and Seislove started the key run for Springfield at 23-21. Springfield went on to open up a 27-21 lead as it took advantage of three NYU attack errors. A kill from Mark Ribeiro finished the third set as the Pride owned a 2-1 lead after taking down the frame, 30-24.
With 13 ties and four lead changes in the fourth, neither team could garner much momentum. A Pete Manguiat kill gave SC a 26-25, but NYU fought back to take a 29-27 lead after a Ferragonio kill. After Nally made it 29-28 with another big kill, Ferragonio sent the match to the fifth and deciding game with a kill of his own.
From the start, Springfield seemed poised to take the fifth game as it opened up a 7-3 lead after a Nally kill. However, the duo of Zolnowski and Ferragonio took over as the Violets went on a 8-3 run to take a 11-10 lead. An NYU service error gave the Pride the serve at 14 all, but Nally’s serve came up just short, and his attempt at a kill at 15-14 found the net, enabling the Violets to record the upset. SC hit .455 in the final stanza but was unable to pull out the victory.
Springfield will wrap up its regular season as it travels south to take on George Mason next Friday night.