If someone goes into Blake Arena to watch a men’s volleyball game there is a good chance of seeing libero Bob Waters bumping a ball from the back row to Erik Shoemaker who will set it. Shoemaker’s set is very likely to be followed up by a Ryan Frederickson spike.
Bump. Set. Spike. That is the standard order of events in a volleyball attack. Frederickson, a senior, is very familiar with the final part of such an attack, and has established himself among the best attackers in school history.
Since arriving on campus as a freshman, Frederickson has not only spent much of his collegiate career spiking balls in NCAA matches, he (and everyone else) has grown accustomed to them to resulting in successful points the Pride.
The resulting points, also known as kills, have continued to mount throughout his four years. He currently sits sixth on the program’s all-time kills list. On Tuesday night Frederickson joined an illustrious in the team’s (6-6) three games to none victory over visiting Endicott College.
When he spiked a ball down the line that in inbounds of the 3rd game of the team’s win, it marked the 1,000th time in his career he had recorded a kill. Only five other people have achieved the feat for a program with five national championships under its belt.
The team’s junior setter understood exactly what this mark meant. “We are all proud of Ryan for his accomplishments and are glad to have him on our side of the net. Ryan has contributed a ton to our team’s success over the last three seasons, and continues to do so this year,” said Shoemaker.
“His 1000th career kill was a benchmark in the statistics, but he's going to keep swinging and racking them up as the season progresses. He has worked hard and deserves to be in the company of the 1000 kill club members.”
That hard work and success Shoemaker refers to is evident. Since Frederickson came to Alden Street, the team has compiled a 55-32 record, good for a .632 winning percentage.
Additionally, the team hosted and won last season’s division three Molten National Championship. His tens of hundreds of kills would equal a little more than 33 individual volleyball games, or 11 matches. That means his offense alone has accounted for one fifth of the team’s victories while he’s worn the maroon and white of SC.
Add in his defense, which this year is among the best on the team as he ranks 2nd in digs per contest and 3rd in blocks, and it’s easy to see why the Springfield College men’s volleyball program has encountered so much success while he has putting on the number three uniform.
The team’s .500 record this year may seem like a bit of a let down following last season’s national championship performance, but the team has run into a streak of non division three teams. After beating Elms College on January 29th, the Pride played six straight games against opponents from bigger schools and went 1-5 over that time. Two of those losses came to last year’s division one national champion, Penn State.
Two more losses came in the Morgan Classic, an event in which Springfield was the only non division one competitor. That part of the season is behind them now, and the Pride return to facing schools in their division again.
Despite being a non-conference game, the win over Endicott was good for the team. “The win over endicott certainly has set us in the right direction. With a more difficult season schedule this year (than last), we have not been coming away with as many wins as in past seasons.
However, we are benefiting from the tough competition against ranked division one teams, and are excited for the second half of our conference play to come,” said Shoemaker.
“The convincing win over Endicott has boosted our confidence and set us off on the right foot for our trip to NYU this Saturday, which is a match that has great D3 final four implications.”
Knowing that the NYU match could be huge in regards to having a chance to defend last year’s championship, Shoemaker-last year’s Molten MVP- offered a simple explanation of the what to expect. “We will be ready to go on Saturday.”