NEWARK, N.J., March 3, 2007 – Springfield College sophomore opposite Ryan Fredrickson (Manahawkin, N.J.) had a match high 23 kills to lead the No. 4 Pride to a hard-fought, 3-2, men’s volleyball win over Rutgers-Newark in The Golden Dome. Game scores were 30-23, 23-30, 30-23, 24-30, 15-8.
SC freshman outside hitter AJ Nally (Rochester, N.Y.), who finished with 14 kills, capped the fifth game with the Pride’s final three points on kills, as SC had an impressive eight kills and no errors on 17 swings in the final frame.
Junior outside hitter Eric Palumbo (Chilli, N.Y.) and sophomore middle blocker Andy Sipe (New Oxford, Pa.) posted 15 kills apiece for the Pride (14-6), while freshman setter Eric Shoemaker (Mount Wolf, Pa.) tallied a solid 70 assists and seven kills.
Senior outside hitter Eric Honsberger hammered down 21 kills and added two aces, eight digs and five total blocks for Rutgers-Newark (2-14), while sophomore outside hitter Kenny Rienecker added a dozen kills and four total blocks. Sophomore setter Mark Hulse finished with 49 assists and 10 kills.
The first four games of the match were eerily similar, with just one point separating the teams.
In game one the Pride, behind seven kills by Fredrickson and five by Palumbo, hit .594 (21-2-32) to overwhelm a solid .419 (16-3-31) effort by the Raiders. Palumbo sandwiched kills around one by Fredrickson to snap a 17-17 tie and boost SC into the lead for good at 20-17. Two Raider errors followed by kills from Sipe and Shoemaker upped the advantage to 26-20 before Fredrickson finished off the game with back-to-back kills.
In game two, Honsberger notched five kills and an ace as Rutgers-Newark came up with four blocks to even the match. It was 17-17 when reserve outside hitter Nick Sims, who finished with eight kills on 13 swings with no errors, roped an ace followed by a block by Honsberger and Keller to give the Raiders the lead for good. Rutgers-Newark went on a 7-2 finishing run keyed by a solo block from Rienecker and a kill by Sims to pull even.
Game three pivoted on a seven-point SC run which staked the Pride to a 23-14 lead. Sipe had two kills and a block in the run.
In game four, Honsberger had two kills as the Raiders finished with an 11-6 spurt to once again square the match.
SC left no doubt in the fifth and final frame, however, totaling eight kills on 17 swings with not a single error for a .471 hitting percentage to take the game and the match, 15-8. The Pride improves to 14-6 overall on the season with the win and remains 5-1 in Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) Hay Division play.
No. 4 SC will next travel to the University of New Haven for an EIVA Hay match on Thursday evening, March 8th, beginning at 7:00 p.m.