State College, Pa. - February 6, 2010 - The Springfield College men's volleyball team lost in four games on Saturday afternoon at Penn State University in an EIVA Tait Conference matchup. The Nittany Lions won by the set scores of 30-14, 27-30, 30-25, 30-24.
Penn State, which entered the match ranked eighth in the country in Division I, improves to 8-2, 4-0 in conference play. The Pride, tied for second in the country in Division III, drop to 3-4, 0-2.
The Pride also became the first EIVA team to take a game from Penn State since Princeton won a game on March 8, 2008.
AJ Nally posted a double-double for the Pride as he tallied a team-best 14 kills to go along with 12 digs and four blocks. Cal Palumbo provided nine kills, six blocks, and five digs, while Mike Pelletier chipped in with eight kills and four blocks. Greg Falcone also finished with a team-best six blocks in the loss.
The Pride managed to hit just .121 for the match but outblocked the Nittany Lions, 14-10, as it racked up 26 block assists. Eric Shoemaker delivered 41 assists and recorded both of Springfield's aces.
Three Nittany Lions tallied double-digit kills with senior Will Price leading the team with 16. Redshirt sophomore Joe Sunder posted 14 and senior Max Lipsitz had 13. Junior libero Dennis Del Valle led the team with 13 digs, while sophomore Ryan Wolf registered 10. Lipsitz had a team-best six total blocks. Edgardo Goas dished out 40 assists as the Lions attacked at a .294 clip.
Penn State dominated set one right from the start. Price, Wolf, Goas and Lipsitz all tallied kills and with the help of a Springfield attack error, PSU took a 5-0 lead. The Nittany Lions then embarked on a 6-2 run for an 11-2 lead. Springfield's two points came from Penn State service errors. By midway through the frame, Penn State led 15-3 and after two kills from Wolf and one each from redshirt junior Alan Mars, Sunder and Goas, the Lions had a thirteen-point advantage, 20-7. After a Springfield timeout, the Pride fought back to within ten, 22-12, but Penn State closed out the first set on an 8-2 run for a 30-14 win.
Goas opened set two with a kill and a joint stuff with freshman Nick Turko for a 2-0 PSU edge. Two PSU errors allowed the Pride to tie the set at 2-2. The score tied five times before Springfield grabbed a two-point lead after a Mike Pellitier kill and a PSU attack error. Penn State came back to tie it at 11-11 and took the lead thanks to a Pride service error. The Lions' lead grew to two, 13-11, after a Wolf ace, but three kills by the Pride had the score knotted at 14-14. The teams stayed close until kills by Price and Turko moved PSU ahead by two, 20-18. Springfield called a timeout, but the Nittany Lions' lead grew to four, 23-19. A kill from Palumbo and two PSU attack errors brought the Pride within one, 23-22. Penn State called a timeout, but an ace by Shoemaker had Springfield and PSU tied at 23-23. The Lions managed to take the lead twice more, but the Pride did not back off. A block and a Palumbo kill moved Springfield ahead by two, 27-25. Despite two kills from Price, the Pride took set two, 30-27.
The third set was neck-and-neck. Penn grabbed a three-point lead by the halfway point, 16-13, only to have Springfield fight back and tie it at 16-16. The score tied again at 17-17, but a Sunder kill put the Lions in the lead for good. The Pride came within one, 21-20, but a joint block by Lipsitz and Goas gave PSU some breathing room, 22-20. Two Pride attack errors and a Price kill increased Penn State's lead to four, 25-21, and forced the Pride to take a timeout. It failed to slow Penn State as the Nittany Lions won set three, 30-25.
The fourth set started out much like set one with PSU jumping out to a 6-1 lead. Sunder and Lipsitz each had two kills and Lipsitz also had a solo stuff for the lead. The Pride called an early timeout, but PSU's lead grew to eight, 12-4, courtesy of three Pride errors and a block by Wolf and freshman Ian Hendries. Springfield managed an 11-4 run to trail by one point, 16-15. The Nittany Lions to a timeout to slow the Pride's momentum. However, Springfield managed to tie the set at 18-18 on a Palumbo put down. The score tied once more before a Price kill gave the Lions the lead for good, 20-19. The Pride stayed within two until the Lions began its final break away. Leading by three, 26-23, Lipsitz and Sunder each tallied a kill before two Springfield errors gave Penn State a 30-24 fourth set win.
Springfield will return home to take on NJIT on Tuesday evening at 7:00 pm.