Springfield earned 224 points, including seven first place votes, and was closely followed by Juniata with 220 points, a like number seven first place nods. Carthage (209, 1 first place), UC Santa Cruz (189, 1 first place), and Stevens Tech (179) rounded out the top five.
The Pride has already earned the right to be included in the 2008 Molten Division III Men's Invitational Volleyball Championship on April 11-12. By virtue of serving as the Invitational’s host, the Pride earns an automatic bid into the four-team national championship tournament.
Junior middle blocker Andy Sipe looks to continue to be a force in the middle, after being named a first team AVCA Division III All-American a year ago. Last season, Sipe finished his sophomore year ranked second in the entire EIVA in blocks (163) and eighth in hitting percentage (.415). Leading the offense will once again be the trio of outside hitters AJ Nally and Eric Palumbo, and opposite Ryan Fredrickson. Nally burst onto the Springfield men’s volleyball scene last season, becoming an AVCA Division III Second Team All-American and AVCA Division III Newcomer of the Year award recipient. Fredrickson, a two-time AVCA Division III All-American and a two-time EIVA Division III All-Star, finished first on the team last season with a total of 318 kills (3.66/game). In an injury-shortened season, Palumbo finished with 215 kills in just 15 matches, good for a 4.39 per game total.
Springfield opens up the season on Saturday, January 19 when it travels down the Massachusetts Turnpike to take on No. 9-ranked MIT. First-serve is slated for 6:00 pm.