Springfield, Mass. - March 10, 2011 - Led by Alberto Bravo and Mike Pelletier, the Springfield College men's volleyball team swept visiting Baruch, 3-0, in a non-conference clash on Thursday evening in Blake Arena. The Pride picked up the victory by the scores 25-11, 25-22, 28-26.
The victory brings Springfield's record to 10-11 this season as the Pride has rattled off six wins in its last seven matches. Baruch drops to 25-12 on the year. Tonight's match pitted two of the top teams in the country as Springfield entered the match as the top-ranked team in Division III, while the Bearcats were ranked seventh according to this week's AVCA national poll.
Bravo pounded out a team-best 12 kills, hitting .500, to go along with four digs and three blocks. Pelletier also hit .500, racking up 11 kills, while Cal Palumbo totaled eight kills at a .583 clip. Greg Falcone posted four blocks, Nick Ferry recorded 12 digs, and Mike Becker totaled 36 assists, all of which were match-highs.
Baruch only had four players record a kill as Pablo Oliveira finished with a match-high 18 kills. Ray Satagaj added four kills and two blocks, while Takeshi Kawahigashi notched a team-high five digs. Jesus Echevarria handed out 24 assists as he directed the Bearcat offense.
For the match, Springfield hit .388, totaling 44 kills and 11 errors, nine of which came in the third set. Baruch hit just .109 for the match as it registered 29 kills and 19 errors. Springfield committed 17 service errors on the evening.
A double block from Falcone and Tommy Crow on the opening point of the match set the tone for the first set as Springfield raced out to a 4-0 lead. Baruch would get as close as four at 10-6 after Satagaj and Kirill Yagnetinskiy combined for a stuff. However, from there it was all Springfield as it opened up a 6-1 run to snag a 16-7 advantage. Springfield totaled five team blocks in the frame, limiting the visitors to a -.211 hitting percentage while hitting .474 themselves en route to the 25-11 victory.
Springfield continued to be incredibly efficient on offense in the second set as it hit .552, posting 17 kills, six off the arm of Pelletier. After Springfield's lone attack error of the game gave Baruch a 12-11 lead, the Pride scored the next four points of the set, including consecutive aces by Falcone, to force Baruch into a timeout. The Bearcats would hang around and made it a 22-20 ballgame after Oliveria's ninth kill of the set. Springfield went to its middles down the stretch as it used two kills by Falcone and another by Palumbo to make it 25-22.
Despite racking up 17 kills in the set, Springfield committed nine attack errors and seven service errors to keep Baruch in the match. The set featured 14 ties and five lead changes and appeared headed in Baruch's favor as the visitors held a 24-21 lead after Satagaj converted out of the middle. The Pride then put forth a furious rally, scoring the next four points, highlighted by a solo block by Falcone as Springfield held a 25-24 advantage. The teams traded points until back-to-back errors by Baruch gave Springfield the 28-26 victory.
The Pride will have enjoy its Spring Break before returning to the courts on Tuesday, March 22 for a non-conference match against Sacred Heart starting at 7:00 pm.