The College of Staten Island men’s volleyball team kicked off their season on Thursday, and will embark on their first tri-match of the season this morning, when they take on Rutgers-Newark at 11:00am and then the College of St. Elizabeth at 1pm at the Rutgers campus in Newark, NJ.  When they do they will be looking for their first win while RU-Newark enters 5-1 and CSE is 2-7.

Matchup: College of Staten Island (0-1) vs. RU-Newark (5-1) / St. Elizabeth (2-7)
Where: The Golden Dome – 195 University Avenue, Newark, NJ
All-Time Series: vs. RU-Newark – RU leads 3-0 / vs. St. Elizabeth – First Meeting
Last Meeting:  vs. RU-Newark – March 4, 2017 – RU won, 3-0
Players to Watch (CSI): Mark Palencia led CSI with six kills the last time out against John Jay College and he is CSI’s active career leader in that department and he led the team last year as well.  Returner Steven Caruso is expected to hold his serve well as he led CSI last year in service aces, while returner Zebin Guo is expected to be defensive stopper on the back line with senior Ronald Tisbe, who did not play on Wednesday.  Newcomers Tairou Diaman and Christian Dumadag debuted nicely for the Dolphins on Wednesday, and as the season progresses look for them to add more and more value.
Players to Watch (RU-N): Leading the way in the early-going is Corey Pieper, who is averaging 2.84 kills per set and 54 kills in total and a .309 kill percentage.  Ricky Crumlish is right behind at 42 kills overall on 105 attacks.  Both of them are also one-two in service aces with 11 in total.  Defensively, Jake Connors has been a force with 53 digs, while Pieper is just as able with 41 digs and seven blocks.  Nicholas Arce-Cox is the team’s blocks leader at 14.
Players to Watch (CSE): For the Eagles, look to Josh Ramos to get a lot of opportunities at the front.  He has a heavy 244 attacks already this season and has put away 86 for kills, a percentage of .127.  He is also the team leader with 29 aces this season and 61 total digs.  Justin Milan is next up with 48 kills on 156 attacks.  Look for CJ Koskulitz on the back line as he lends great support with 41 digs this season and Emanuel Adam has been holding his own with 11 blocks this year.
News & Notes: This afternoon will mark the first-ever matchup between CSI and the College of St. Elizabeth.  CSI hasn’t had a lot of luck against RU-Newark, as they are 0-3 all-time against them having never taken a set.  This afternoon will mark the first time in history that the Dolphins are travelling to Rutgers-Newark.  The previous three meetings against the Scarlet Raiders took place either at CSI or at neutral sites.