NEWARK, N.J., March 31, 2007 - The New Jersey Institute of Technology's (NJIT) Leonardo Paludo led four Highlanders in double-figure kills with a match-high 18 to go along with 11 digs, four blocks, and 20.5 points as NJIT defeated the fourth-ranked Springfield College Pride, 3-1 (30-25, 30-12, 24-30, 31-29), this evening in Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) Hay Division action.
With the loss, SC finishes its regular-season with a 17-8 overall record and an 8-2 EIVA Hay mark. NJIT moves into first place outright in the EIVA Hay with the victory, improving to 16-6 overall on the year and 8-1 in the conference. With a win on April 9th at New Haven, the Highlanders would clinch first place in the EIVA Hay and earn the promotion into the higher power-rated EIVA Tait Division for the 2008 season.
Despite the loss, the Pride will still battle Juniata College for the EIVA Division III Championship on Saturday afternoon, April 7th at 2:00 p.m. in Huntingdon, Pa. SC has also played its way into the Molten Division III National Championship at Juniata College on the weekend of Friday, April 13th as the EIVA representative.
Pride sophomore All-American Ryan Fredrickson (Manahawkin, N.J.) paced SC versus NJIT with 11 kills and eight digs. Freshman outside hitter AJ Nally (Rochester, N.Y.) added 10 kills, 12 digs and four blocks. Leading the way in blocking for the Pride was junior middle blocker Dave Smietana (Buffalo, N.Y.) with a match-best seven. Freshman setter Eric Shoemaker (Mount Wolf, Pa.) chipped in with 33 assists and a team-high 13 digs.