EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa., February 8, 2006 - Springfield College sophomore outside hitter Eric Palumbo (Rochester, N.Y.) led the way with 21 kills, eight digs, and three service aces, but it was the East Stroudsburg Warriors which upset the No. 6 Pride, 3-1, in Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA)-Hay Division play on Wednesday evening at Koehler Fieldhouse.
East Stroudsburg won the first two games of the match by scores of 30-27 and 30-25. In the opening game, SC clung to a three-point lead, but it was the Warriors that responded to take the 30-27 victory behind a few key kills from Keith Eckenrode. Eckenrode tallied 15 total kills and two service aces in the Stroudsburg win.
After dropping the second game to fall behind to an early 2-0 deficit, the Pride won a close third game by a score of 30-27 to extend the match. But in the end, the Warriors were too much, jumping out to an 11-2 lead in the fourth game to eventually close out the match, 30-25. SC falls to 5-3 overall in its first EIVA-Hay loss of the season, as the Pride is now 3-1 in the Hay Division. East Stroudsburg improves to 5-4 and 2-0 in EIVA-Hay action.
Freshman outside hitter Ryan Fredrickson (Manahawkin, N.J.) added 16 kills in the losing effort for SC. Sophomore opposite David Smietana (Buffalo, N.Y.) chipped in with two service aces to go along with five kills, and sophomore libero Brandon Waas (Rochester, N.Y.) registered a team-high 11 digs.
The Pride will next host the 2006 Volleyball Hall of Fame Morgan Classic on Friday and Saturday night, February 10-11, as Division I powers Penn State, Ohio State, and Stanford descend on Blake Arena. The Classic kicks off with No. 8 Ohio State and No. 11 Penn State squaring off on Friday evening at 6:00 p.m., and SC hosting Stanford on Friday at 8:00 p.m.