Zuvich, a freshman right side, has proven to be a tremendous addition to the Springfield College men’s volleyball team this season. A 6-foot-7 native of San Pedro, Calif., Zuvich has taken on a pivotal role for the Pride in only his first year. Heading into the Pride’s tri-match this past weekend against Sacred Heart and Vassar, Zuvich was fourth on the team this season with 139 kills. Zuvich set a career-high this past weekend in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., as he had 18 kills at a .344 clip as the Pride swept Vassar College. Zuvich also chipped in 12 kills against Sacred Heart. Zuvich without question will play a key role for the Pride down the stretch.
Q. As a freshman, how have you adjusted to the pace of college volleyball?
A. I have adjusted very well I think. I walked into a team and I was accepted as a brother. It’s truly remarkable how this family is there for you when you need them most, on and off the court.
Q. What have you worked on the most since beginning here at Springfield College?
A. I would have to say my control. It’s not where I want it to be yet, but I am now able to become more focused and make the best decision when a set comes my way.
Q. You had 30 overall kills this weekend against Sacred Heart and Vassar – what was working for you?
A. This past weekend I tried to be as smart as possible, using the opposing teams block to get them into trouble. Also it’s hard not to have a great game when our passers are playing out of their minds and Keaton [Pieper] is setting amazingly.
Nielsen, a sophomore midfielder, has played a huge role for Springfield College’s women lacrosse team early in the season. A native of Sayville, N.Y., Nielsen is third on the team with 15 goals and seven assists for a total of 22 points through 10 games this season. Nielsen’s best performance this season came when she scored four goals and had three assists as the Pride took down Emerson College 21-6 in their New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference opener. Nielsen has led the Pride down the stretch with a team-leading two goals in the Pride’s loss to Connecticut College and also a team-leading four goals as the Pride were able to defeat the Engineers of MIT, 17-4. Last season, Nielsen was instrumental in Springfield College’s run to a NEWMAC Championship and NCAA berth, as she was second on the team in points with 42.
Q. How is this team different from last year’s squad?
A. Our team this year is extremely versatile. A lot of girls are trying new positions and are improving their skills so we can all be more of a threat on the field. We don’t depend on a select few to carry our team this year, and I think we’re working better as a unit than in past years.
Q. What are some main things the team worked on during pre-season in order to get ready for the regular season?
A. We focused a lot on our strength and conditioning to make sure that we were ready to compete with really high-caliber teams. Our tough non-conference games helped us fine-tune our attack and D.
Q. What do you hope to improve on as the season progresses?
A. Individually, I hope to improve on my one-on-one defense and on causing less fouls, and as a team, I hope we improve on transitions and on finding a good balance between patience and urgency to cage on the attack.