HUNTINGDON, Pa., March 31, 2006 – Springfield College sophomore outside hitter Eric Palumbo (Rochester, N.Y.) recorded a match-high 28 kills as the Pride won the first game, 30-25, but it was the Violets of New York University (NYU) which proved to be too much for SC, 3-1, in the semifinals of the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) Division III Championships, hosted by Juniata College.
New York University overcame a one-set deficit to earn its third-consecutive berth in the EIVA Division III Championship match. The second-seeded Violets raised their record to 9-11 on the season, while the third-seeded Pride dropped to 10-14.
New York got 17 kills apiece from Chris Schmidt and Macnair Sillick to earn the victory by game scores of 25-30, 30-23, 32-30, and 30-25.
After splitting the first two games, the pivotal third game was the tightest of the match as neither team held more than a three-point edge. After New York took an 18-15 edge, SC rattled off four-straight points to take a 19-18 edge. The teams would then trade points down the stretch, with neither side claiming more than a one-point cushion. New York had the first game point of the game after a Schmidt kill made the score 29-28. Palumbo and Schmidt then traded kills before a New York service error left the score tied at 30. Schmidt then closed the match with a kill and then added a service ace to cap the frame.
After being limited to a .250 hitting percentage in game one, the Violets hit .273 or better over the final three games and posted a .336 average for the game. The Violets also outblocked the Pride, 14-9 on the match. Jonathan Wintermeyer was also in double figures in kills in the match as he produced 10 kills and a match-high nine blocks. Marc Horowitz passed out 55 assists for New York in the match. David Tener brought up 11 digs to lead the Violets.
SC hit .440 in game one and nearly rode the efforts of Palumbo to the win as the sophomore outside knocked out a game-high 28 kills with a .408 hitting percentage. Freshman outside hitter Ryan Frederickson (Manahawkin, N.J.) added 17 kills for SC while freshman middle blocker Andrew Sipe (New Oxford, Pa.) notched 10 kills and led the team with six blocks. Sophomore setter Chris Shekell (Rochester, N.Y.) dished out 66 assists in the match while sophomore outside hitter Javier Rosario (San Juan, Puerto Rico) paced the Pride with 11 digs.
New York will meet the winner of the second semifinal between top-seeded Juniata College and No. 4 Vassar College.