Springfield, Mass. - April 7, 2010 - The Springfield College men's volleyball team defeated visiting Baruch College in three games on Wednesday evening in a non-conference match in Blake Arena. The Pride won by the set scores of 30-27, 30-23, 30-25 as it defeated Bearcats in straight sets.
Springfield, currently ranked second in the Division III in the latest AVCA Coaches Poll, improves to 17-9, while fifth-ranked Baruch lost for just the fifth time this season as it now stands at 33-5.
Freshman Greg Falcone set another school record in the match as he now owns the program record for most total blocks in a single season. Falcone, who had five blocks in the match, broke Andy Sipe's mark of 163 blocks from 2007. Falcone, who previously broke Sipe's mark for most block assists in a season, now has 164 total blocks in his first year in Maroon and White.
Eric Shoemaker just missed a triple double as the senior setter totaled 42 assists, 10 digs, and eight blocks to go along with three service aces in the victory. AJ Nally totaled a double double with 10 kills and 10 digs, while Cal Palumbo pounded out a team-best 12 kills at a .500 clip. Alberto Bravo chipped in with 11 kills and eight digs and Alex Harrison posted a team-best 12 digs for the Pride.
Sequiel Sanchez finished with match highs in both kills and digs as he recorded 14 kills and 17 digs for the visitors. Pablo Oliveria added 13 kills, while Ivan Andujar dished out 38 assists off the bench. Carlos DeLeon was credited with 10 digs and Eryk Kowalski led the Bearcats with five blocks.
A sluggish start for the Pride resulted in the Bearcats jumping out to a 15-10 lead in the first set. However, Springfield's block came alive as Shoemaker combined for three consecutive blocks, including two with Falcone, to get the Pride back on track. Springfield poured on a 9-2 run to grab a 19-17 lead which it would not relinquish. Baruch battled back within one at 25-24 after an SC service error, but the Pride used a 5-2 spurt to close out the set as Palumbo pounded home his fourth kill of the set.
The Pride carried its momentum into the second as it owned a 12-7 lead after a Falcone kill, forcing a Baruch timeout. The Bearcats chipped away at the lead and used a Kirill Yagnetinskiy ace to cut it to one at 16-15. However, Springfield pulled it together with a 7-1 run to snag a commanding 23-16 advantage. SC's lead shrunk to three at 26-23, but the Pride scored the final four points of the second on four consecutive kills, including two from Jeff Gutmann to own a two-set lead.
A Sanchez kill gave Baruch a 15-12 lead in the third, only to have the Pride rattle off a 6-0 run to own an 18-15 advantage. Falcone made his record-breaking block count as he teamed with Bravo for a double block which tied the match at 15-all. The Bearcats stormed back to tie the set at 20 after a Springfield attack error, but a kill from Bravo coupled with a Baruch error gave Springfield a two-point cushion that would grow to as many as five as the Pride took the final set, 30-25.
The Pride will play its regular-season finale on Saturday afternoon as it takes on Rutgers at 4:00 pm. It will be the Pride's last tune-up before it travels to Wisconsin to try and win the national championship at the 2010 Molten Division III Invitational Championship hosted by Carthage College on April 16-17.