DIII No. 1 Springfield Tops No. 14 Rivier

1/25/2008

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Springfield, Mass. - The top-ranked Springfield College men's volleyball team topped Rivier College, 3-1, in its home opener on Friday evening in Blake Arena. The Pride won by the scores of 31-29, 30-28, 25-30, 30-24. With the win, Springfield improves to 2-1 while the Raiders drop to 1-5.

The Pride delighted the home crowd to an offensive showing as five players registered double figures in the kill column and the team as a whole hit at a .336 clip.

The beginning of the first game was back and forth with Rivier owning the biggest lead of the stanza at four, 14-10, after a Matt Ferriera kill, forcing an SC timeout. After an All-American Andy Sipe (New Oxford, Pa.) kill put the Pride up three, 29-26, a pair of Ferriera kills once again forced head coach Charlie Sullivan to call a timeout. Coming out of the timeout, the Pride used a kill from setter Eric Shoemaker (Mount Wolf, Pa.) and an ace from Mark Ribeiro (New York, N.Y.) to take the first game, 31-29.

In the second stanza, the Pride raced out to a 17-12 lead capped off by a double block from Cal Palumbo (Rochester, N.Y.) and Shoemaker. However, the Raiders answered right back with a 14-9 run to knot the contest at 26. However, the Pride showed poise down the stretch and a pair of kills from Sipe solidified a 30-28 game-two win. Springfield hit .444 in the game to overpower the Raiders.

The Pride struggled in the third game to sideout, as it managed just a 55% side out percentage. With the game tied at 17 after a Rivier attack error, the Raiders rattled off a 5-1 run to force a Springfield timeout at 22-18. Down the stretch of the game, Rivier took advantage of Springfield hitting errors and timely kills to win the game, 30-25.

Once again in the fourth game, both teams would not go away as the contest was tied eight times before the Pride opened up a four-point advantage, 17-13, after a kill from All-American AJ Nally (Rochester, N.Y.). However, three kills from Deluca lead the Raider charge as they tied the game at 19. The Pride would not be denied the game as it closed out the game on a 10-4 run to claim the victory, 30-24. Cal Palumbo closed the door the visitors as he hammered home the game-winning kill. In the fourth game, the Pride out-hit River, .457 to .196.

Nally led the way for Springfield with a match-high 18 kills to go along with 14 digs. All-American Ryan Fredickson (Surf City, N.J.) added 18 kills of his own, hitting .367, and added seven digs while Cal Palumbo made his debut in Blake Arena in impressive fashion, hitting .556 with 11 kills and four blocks. Ribeiro and Sipe both added 10 kills for the Pride. Shoemaker directed the offense as he dished out 67 assists in the victory.

The Raiders were paced by Matt Ferriera's 14 kills and seven blocks while Chris Deluca chipped in with 13 kills. Zach Hansen handed out 49 assists for Rivier.

The Pride play its second game of a three-game homestand on Saturday evening when it hosts Vassar College at 7:00 pm.

Article courtesy of Springfield athletics.

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