DIII No. 4 Nazareth Knocks Off No. 1 UC Santa Cruz and No. 2 Springfield


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Rochester, N.Y. - Junior setter Frank Leahy (Smithtown HS/Smithtown, NY) was named tournament MVP and junior outside hitter Joe Petzoldt (Midlakes HS/Phelps, NY) was named to the all-tournament team Saturday as host Nazareth defeated the first- and second-ranked men's volleyball teams in successive matches to win the championship of the Nazareth Invitational.

Nazareth, ranked fourth nationally in the latest poll released by the American Volleyball Coaches Association, improved to 12-2 overall after defeating second-ranked Springfield (9-2) in the championship match by scores of 30-20, 30-27, 30-25. Earlier in the day Nazareth defeated top-ranked UC Santa Cruz in four games 30-27, 30-16, 26-30, 30-24.

Leahy had 44 assists and four blocks in the title match, including an assisted block with Kellen Gambeski (Smithtown HS/St. James, NY) on the match-clinching point. Petzoldt finished with 11 kills and six digs, while senior outside hitter Tom Maving (Canisius HS/Tonawanda, NY) had 13 kills and six digs. Gambeski had nine kills and seven digs.

After winning the first game decisively, Nazareth was behind in game two, 26-25, before scoring the next four points to take control. Kelvin Rolle (Rush-Henrietta HS/Henrietta, NY) had a kill and Leahy followed with back-to-back blocking points. Gambeski added a kill and, after a Springfield point, Nazareth closed out the game with a kill from senior Adam DiCicco (Midlakes HS/Seneca Castle, NY).

The third game was close until Nazareth rattled off five straight points to break a 15-15 tie. Petzoldt fueled the run with a pair of kills and Leahy contributed with a service ace.

AJ Nally (McQuaid Jesuit/Rochester, NY) had 10 kills for Springfield and was named to the all-tournament team along with Cal Palumbo (Rochester, NY), who posted eight kills.

Petzoldt also had 19 kills and Leahy had 50 assists against the Santa Cruz Banana Slugs, Nazareth clinch a see-saw battle in game one as junior Ryan Johnsen (Hamburg HS/Hamburg, NY) had kills on the final two points. Nazareth built early lead in game two and was never challenged. After dropping game three, Nazareth came back to capture game four with Rolle recording a kill on the 29th point and Leahy earning a solo block on the 30th point.

Petzoldt had seven digs to go with his match-high 19 kills. Maving added 17 kills and eight digs and senior kellen Gambeski had 13 kills, eight digs and six blocks.

Nazareth plays again Wednesday at home against SUNYIT, Match starts at 7 p.m.

Article courtesy of UC Santa Cruz athletics.

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