DIII No. 1 Springfield Cruises Past Sacred Heart

2/1/2008

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Fairfield, Conn. - The top-ranked Springfield College men's volleyball team used a potent offense paced by a game-high 13 kills from All-American Ryan Fredrickson (Surf City, N.J.) to sweep Sacred Heart, 3-0, on Friday evening.

The Pride won by the scores of 30-23, 30-21, 30-21. With the win, Springfield improves to 5-1 on the season and picks up its first conference victory of the season, moving to 1-0 in EIVA Hay competition.

The Pride took the opening game by the score of 30-23 thanks in part to five kills each from Cal Palumbo (Rochester, N.Y.) and Fredrickson. Springfield took an early 13-8 lead after a Pioneer attack error, but could not pull away from the home team. Sacred Heart battled within one on four occasions, the last being at 20-19 after a Springfield service error. However, from there, the Pride rattled off three straight points off kills from Mark Ribeiro (New York, N.Y.), Andy Sipe (New Oxford, Pa.), and a double block from Eric Shoemaker (Mount Wolf, Pa.) and Sipe to force a SHU timeout. Out of the timeout, the Pride tallied three of the next four points to open its largest lead of the opening stanza, 26-20 after a Palumbo kill. A kill and ace from All-American AJ Nally (Rochester, N.Y.) closed out the opening game with the Pride winning by seven, 30-23.

The first half of the second game was close with Sacred Heart opening up the biggest lead of the game at 16-14 after a kill from BJ Smith. A Fredrickson kill would tie the game up at 17 but on the ensuing point, a ball handling error on Fredrickson would give the Pioneers back the lead at 18-17. The Pride's offense was too potent down the stretch as Springfield hammered out seven unanswered points to take a commanding 24-18 lead. The Pride's run was sparked by a pair of Ribeiro kills. A Nally kill would give Springfield it's largest lead of the game at 27-20 before a trio of kills from Palumbo, Fredrickson, and Nally gave the Pride a 30-21 victory. Springfield tallied 21 kills in the second game compared to just eight for Sacred Heart as the Pride hit .571 in the stanza.

Once again the third game, an early run for the Pride put the game in control early. With the score tied at seven, the Pride opened up a 4-0 run sparked by a kill Eric Palumbo (Chili, N.Y.) and a solo block from Fredrickson to force a Sacred Heart timeout at 11-7. Another quick three-point spurt from the Pride off a Sipe kill and solo block and another Eric Palumbo kill extended SC's lead to six at 16-10. The Pioneers continued to battle though as they answered with a 4-0 run to get within two after a Smith kill. Out of a Springfield timeout, SC used a ball handling error by the Pioneers and kills from Cal and Eric Palumbo to go along with solo block from Shoemaker to open up a 20-14 lead and force another Pioneer T.O. A Sipe service ace out of the timeout squashed any idea of a Pioneer comeback as the home squad would get no closer than six the rest of the way. An Eric Palumbo closed the door on the third game, 30-21, and gave SC it's first three-game sweep of the 2008 campaign.

Fredrickson was unstoppable as he hammered out 13 kills and hit .588 in the match. Cal Palumbo added 10 kills, hitting .471, while Ribeiro finished with 10 kills, hitting at .500 clip. Sipe finished with eight kills with a .583 hitting percentage to go along with four blocks. Shoemaker directed the offense, dishing out 51 assists in just three games to go along with four blocks and a team-best six digs. Eric Palumbo finished with seven kills in just one game for the Pride, providing a spark off the bench for head coach Charlie Sullivan.

The Pride return to action on Tuesday evening when it travels on the Massachusetts Turnpike to take on Harvard at 7:00 pm.

Article courtesy of Springfield athletics.

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