SPRINGFIELD, Mass., January 11, 2007 – Springfield College junior outside hitter Eric Palumbo (Chili, N.Y.) led all players with 24 kills and 15 digs, but the Pride comeback fell just shy this afternoon in Blake Arena as Division II Lewis University defeated SC, 3-2 (30-25, 30-28, 24-30, 28-30, 15-9), in the season opener for both teams.
The Flyers (1-0), led by senior outside hitter Jared Dayton and his team-best 22 kills, opened the match by winning two close games, 30-25 and 30-28. The Pride responded quickly, however, taking control in game three for a 30-24 victory. In a neck-and-neck game four, SC edged Lewis (30-28) to force a fifth and decisive game.
In the end, however, the Flyers proved to be too much, as Lewis capitalized on some early chances in the fifth game for the 15-9 win. Flyer sophomores Drew Pickering and Craig Boller added 13 and 12 kills, respectively, in the win. Boller also added seven blocks. Sophomore libero Nick Perakes contributed with a team-high 10 digs.
For the Pride, sophomore middle blocker Andy Sipe (New Oxford, Pa.) had 11 kills and a match-best 10 blocks. Freshman outside hitter Andrew Nally (Rochester, N.Y.) chipped in with 13 kills and five digs. Junior setter Chris Shekell (Rochester, N.Y.) racked up a match-high 53 assists despite the loss.
SC will next travel to Ohio State University on Monday and Tuesday, January 15th and 16th for non-conference matches. The Pride battles the Buckeyes on Monday at 7:00 p.m. and Tuesday at 2:00 p.m.