Springfield, Mass. – March 28, 2009 – The Springfield College men’s volleyball team picked up a key EIVA Tait Conference win on Saturday evening as it topped St. Francis in four games in Blake Arena. The Pride took the match by the game scores of 30-20, 30-17, 25-30, 30-21. With the win, Springfield improves to 13-7, 5-5 in league play while the Red Flash fall to 11-11, 4-4.
Springfield avenged a pair of earlier losses to the Red Flash this year as its defense was the difference in the match tonight. The Pride held a 50-35 advantage in digs and out-blocked the visitors, 21.5 to 8.0
Andy Sipe was terrific on the night as he posted 13 blocks, including five solo stops, to go along with nine kills at a .500 clip. Fellow middle blocker Cal Palumbo added a team-best 12 kills, hitting .625, while Ryan Fredrickson tallied 12 kills, 10 digs, and eight blocks in the victory. Eric Shoemaker dished out 42 assists spreading out the offense on the night, allowing five different players to notch at least nine kills. Mark Ribeiro also added 10 kills and four service aces. AJ Nally posted nine kills and 10 digs to go along with five blocks, while Brandon Waas recorded a match-high 11 digs.
For the visitors, Jordan Varee registerd a match-high 20 kills, while teammated Nick Rivett added 12. John Wappler posted 11 digs and teammate Shane Conley handed out 40 assists.
The Pride wasted no time jumping all over the Red Flash as it raced out to a 7-2 lead after a Nally kill. Springfield continued to pour on the pressure as it went on to lead by as many as 11 in the frame en route to the 30-20 first game victory. Hitting .348 for the set, the Pride took advantage of eight service errors by St. Francis as it took a one-game advantage.
Despite opening an early lead, the Red Flash battled back in the second set after a Pete Freyer kill to get within three at 15-12. However, after falling behind 19-13, Ribeiro ripped back-to-back aces to kick start a 7-0 run that put the stanza away. The Pride held St. Francis to just seven kills at a -.030 hitting percentage, compared to its 18 kills at .364. Palumbo connected on all five of his swings in the set to pace SC.
St. Francis took the third stanza as it opened up a 19-11 lead and never looked back. Varee simply took over as he tallied eight of his 20 kills, hitting .417 in the game.
However, the night belonged to the Pride, as it jumped out to a 11-5 run in the fourth after a triple block from Nally, Palumbo, and Fredrickson forced St. Francis into a timeout. A Sipe kill put the Pride up by its largest margin in the frame, 23-11, before Ribeiro eventually ended the match with a kill for SC.
Springfield returns to action next Friday night when it hosts Princeton at 7:00 pm.