NJIT Prevails 3-2 Over Rutgers-Newark
Newark, N.J. - Senior opposite Leonardo Paludo had three of his seven kills and two of his three service aces in game five as NJIT weathered a career night by Rutgers-Newark sophomore outside hitter Nate Stott to escape The Golden Dome with a 3-2 men's volleyball win.
The Highlanders (2-1) survived in incredible 31-kill night by Stott. The righthander hit a ridiculous .707 (31 kills, 2 errors, 41 attacks), but NJIT prevailed 32-30, 28-30, 30-24, 23-30, 15-12.
Senior outside hitter Eduardo Welter paced the Highlanders with 11 kills and added six digs while senior setter Mike Nonnenmann distributed 35 assists and posted five dink kills in as many tries. Sophomore outside hitter Charles Bell notched nine kills, five digs and two solo blocks for NJIT.
Freshman setter Jeff Zornig registered an early career-best 67 assists while delivering three of the Raiders' 10 aces and making six digs.
Rutgers-Newark posted 24 more kills than the Highlanders (74-52) but 33 service errors proved costly in the end. NJIT had eight aces, but the team committed 16 service errors.
Sophomore middle hitter Jon Keller had 15 kills, hitting .391, while getting in on six of the Raiders' dozen blocks. Freshman outside hitter Grant Metheny notched 13 kills and seven digs while getting in on four blocks. Sophomore middle hitter Kenneth Stumbaugh collected 10 kills while hitting .368 and chipped in a pair of aces, a solo block and three assisted blocks.
The Highlanders jumped out to an early lead in game five after junior middle blocker Robert Thomas pounded down a kill on the first point. Paludo wrapped a pair of service aces around a block by Thomas and junior middle Amobi Armstrong to boost NJIT into a 4-0 lead. A block by Metheny, Keller and freshman Nick Johnson knotted the score at 8-8 before NJIT ran off four straight points for a lead that they would never lose. Paludo delivered kills around a solo block by Amobi before Nonnenmann served an ace between Raider defenders.
In game one, Stott had eight kills on a dozen swings with no errors, bringing the Raiders to game point at 29-28 with a kill. But a service error followed by an attack error gave NJIT game point at 30-29 before a Keller kill knotted the score again. Bell, who had five kills in the game, then put the Highlanders up a point before and attack error gave the visitors crucial game one.
In game two, Stott hammered down eight more kills on 11 swings while committing his first attack error as the Raiders survived a late Highlander rally to even the match.
In game three, NJIT hit .478 as a team to overcome Stott who posted eight kills for the third straight game - this time on just nine swings with one error.
Stott notched five kills in just seven attacks with no errors in game four as the Raiders hit .407 to even the match for the second time.
In the final game, Stott got just two swings with each ending in a kill to cap his torrid night. Stumbaugh and Keller joined his two-for-two accuracy in the final game as Rutgers-Newark had seven kills on 10 attacks, but three Highlander aces and four Raider service errors provided the final difference.
Stott obliterated his previous personal best of 18 kills in a match which he totalled twice during his freshman season. He had 18 kills on .500 hitting in a 3-1 win at Mercyhurst on January 27, 2007. He tallied 18 kills while hitting .412 in a 3-0 loss at Southern Cal on March 13, 2007.
The Raiders (2-4) will be at Harvard on Friday at 7 p.m. for an EIVA Hay match.
Article courtesy of Rutgers-Newark athletics.