Springfield, Mass. - April 10, 2010 - The Springfield College men's volleyball team won the opening set before dropping the next three as it fell to non-conference foe Rutgers in four sets on Saturday afternoon. The Raiders were victorious in the match by the scores of 21-30, 31-29, 30-27, 30-24.
Springfield now stands at 17-10 through the regular season, while Rutgers record improves to 12-11.
It was the Pride's final tune-up before heading to the midwest for the 2010 Molten Division III Invitational National Championship which will take place on April 16-17 at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisc. Springfield will now await seedings to come out to see who it will square off against in the national semifinal on April 16.
AJ Nally had a team-best 17 kills to go along with nine digs and five blocks in the loss. Alberto Bravo totaled 15 kills and six blocks, while Mike Pelletier chipped in 12 kills for the Pride. Eric Shoemaker and Brad Seislove shared the setting duties, with Shoemaker handing out 25 assists and Seislove dishing out 26 to go along with nine digs. Cal Palumbo posted eight kills and five blocks and fellow middle Greg Falcone registered seven kills, seven blocks, and three aces. Alex Harrison recorded nine digs as well.
Marcin Midura had an outstanding match for the visitors as he pounded out a match-best 23 kills while hitting .500. Mark Kochan totaled 12 kills out of the middle, hitting .611, while Dane Mulligan finished with 10 kills and 10 blocks while hitting .500. Eduardo Hernandez recorded 11 kills and Jeff Zornig delivered 55 assists to go along with his match-high eight blocks.
Springfield played a near-flawless opening set as it cruised to a 30-21 victory. Much in part to hitting .750 in the frame as it totaled 18 kills on 24-errorless swings, Springfield was in control throughout. SC broke open a one-point game, 17-16, to a 22-17 cushion thanks to a 5-1 spurt, highlighted by a triple block from Bravo, Nally, and Palumbo. Nally closed out the set with his sixth kill of the game as the Pride snagged the opening set.
A much different second game saw Springfield total 12 attack errors and hit just .081. Even still, the Pride found itself up 25-24 with the serve. However, a kill from Zornig even the set and the teams traded points until a Bravo kill and Pelletier ace have SC game-point at 29-28. Rutgers would go on to score the next three points on an Springfield service error and back-to-back blocks from Zornig and Jon Keller and Zornig and Brett Pickens.
Midura started to take over the match in the third as he pounded out 10 kills in the set, while teammate Kochan was responsible for seven kills of his own. A Rutgers attack error handed the Pride a 24-21 lead and forced a RU timeout. A Bravo kill put Springfield up 26-24, only to have Rutgers rattle off a 4-0 spurt, with Midura notching a pair of kills, as the hosts found themselves trailing 28-26. Falcone stopped the bleeding with a kill, but Rutgers took the two-set advantage after another Midura kill and a Zornig ace.
The fourth set was tied 12 times, the last coming at 14 all after a Bravo kill. Rutgers put forth a 5-1 run, capped off by yet another Midura termination to take complete control of the contest. A double block from Nally and Palumbo made it three-point set at 24-21, but Rutgers was too strong down the stretch as it took the set, 30-24. Midura hammered home another seven kills in the set as he guided his team to the four-set victory.