Springfield, Mass. – April 24, 2009 – For the first time in program history, the Springfield College men’s volleyball team will host an Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) Division I Tournament Quarterfinal on Saturday evening. The Pride will square off against conference-rival George Mason at 7:00 pm in Blake Arena.
The Pride enter the tournament as the fourth seed with a 14-9 record, while George Mason is the fifth seed and stands at 12-15 on the year. George Mason advanced to the quarterfinals after dispatching Harvard 31-29, 31-33, 30-19, 30-26 on Wednesday evening.
These two squads have already played twice this season, with the Patriots winning both matches. George Mason won the first meeting at Springfield in a semifinal match of the 2009 Volleyball Hall of Fame/Morgan Classic. Ben Nichols hammered out a match-best 16 kills, hitting .357, to pace his squad to victory by the game scores of 30-28, 30-22, 30-24. AJ Nally led Springfield with a team-best 12 kills to go along with six digs and four blocks. On April 10, the Pride dropped a five-game thriller at George Mason as the Patriots won by the game scores of 30-28, 24-30, 21-30, 31-29, 15-12. Mark Ribeiro and Cal Palumbo paced the Pride attack with 17 kills apiece in the contest. Palumbo was outstanding as he hit at a .500 clip to go along with six blocks, while Ribeiro added eight digs and three blocks.
The winner of Saturday’s match will advance to play Division I’s defending national champion, Penn State, next Thursday at 7:30 pm in State College, Pa.