March 7, 2008
Springfield, MA - AJ Nally registered a game-high 17 kills on a .464 hitting clip to pace the Springfield College men's volleyball team to a 3-1 victory over Sacred Heart in EIVA Hay action Friday night.
The Pioneers were led by senior Chris Yantz (Setauket, NY) who rang up 11 kills in the loss. Scott Grandpre (East Greenwich, RI) and Jon Mercado (Corona, NY) each had six kills. Peter Donahue (Melville, NY) added three kills and six blocks.
The Pride used eight service aces in the first game to grab a 1-0 lead in the match. Nally finished the first game out with two of his seven aces in the game as SC took a 30-18 decision. The Pride hit .324 in the opening game and led by as many as nine.
After a Nally kill gave the Pride a 10-6 lead, the home squad rattled off a 6-1 run capped off by a Eric Palumbo kill to take control of the game. Springfield led by as many as 12 in the second game, which was finished off by a kill from All-American Andy Sipe out of the middle.
The third game was back and forth from the start until the Pioneers opened up a 27-22 lead after a BJ Smith (Shelton, CT) kill. Springfield climbed right back into the game, cutting the lead to one at 29-28 after a Palumbo kill. However, a Yantz's kill gave the Pioneers the third game by a count of 30-28.
The Pride fell behind early in the fourth game, 9-5, after a ball handling error, which forced the Pride to call a timeout. Out of the timeout, Springfield responded with a 9-2 run highlighted by a trio of Nally kills to regain the lead, 12-11. The Pioneers were resilient, knotting the game at 22, after a Pride attack error. However, after Sacred Heart recorded a service error of their own on the next play, Springfield went on a 6-1 run to pick up the win. Sipe was too much down the stretch as he contributed with a kill and teamed with Mark Ribeiro for a pair of block assists for the win.
Sacred Heart is back in action Friday night when they travel to the York Tournament.