FAIRFIELD, Conn., January 25, 2006 - Springfield College sophomore outside hitter Eric Palumbo (Rochester, N.Y.) led all players in the match with 19 kills and a .548 hitting percentage as the No. 5 Pride swept host Sacred Heart University, 3-0, on Wednesday evening, January 25, at the Williams H. Pitt Center. The match was each team's 2006 Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) Conference-Hay Division opener.
SC (3-0, 1-0 EIVA-Hay) took the first two games by scores of 30-23 and 30-20. With the score tied at 22 apiece in the third game, the Pride reeled off an 8-2 run to complete the sweep. Freshman outside hitter Ryan Fredrickson (Manahawkin, N.J.) added 12 kills and a .474 hitting percentage, as sophomore opposite David Smietana (Buffalo, N.Y.) recorded seven kills in just eight attempts, for a .875 hitting percentage.
As a team, SC shattered the school's single-match hitting percentage record with a mark of .525 in the win. SC broke the old mark set back on February 22, 2003, of .443 (44 kills, nine errors, 79 attempts) in a match at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. In hitting .525, the Pride registered 49 kills and just seven errors in 80 attempts.
Keeping pace for SC on defense were sophomores Javier Rosario (San Juan, Puerto Rico) and Kyle Magoffin (Cheshire, Conn.) with 13 digs each. Sophomore setter Chris Shekell (Rochester, N.Y.) chipped in with 18 assists.
The Pioneers (0-2, 0-1 EIVA-Hay) were led by senior Alex Catani who had 11 kills, and senior Mike Ivers who registered 11 kills and a .476 hitting percentage. Junior John Breen had 31 assists in the losing effort for Sacred Heart.
The Pride will next take its act to Division I Ball State University this weekend, as SC will play two matches against the Cardinals. Ball State, ranked tenth in the latest CSTV/American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division I-II Men's Coaches Top 15 Poll, will host the Pride on Friday night, January 27, in a 7:00 p.m. start, and again on Saturday evening, January 28, in another 7:00 p.m. beginning.