2014 AVCA Division III Men's All-America Teams

4/21/2014

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 21, 2014) - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) is proud to announce its 11th annual AVCA Men's Division III All-America Teams. 

Springfield College and Juniata College lead the way this season, with a total of four athletes honored on the first and second teams. SUNY New Paltz, Stevens and Carthage are next in line with three All-Americans each. This is the first season each team was expanded to 14 players with AVCA All-America Honorable Mentions.
 

Carthage senior Connor Wexter headlines the year's recipients as the only four-time AVCA All-American after being selected to the second team in 2011, and the first team over the next three years.  Rivier's Aaron Almario, Juniata's Joe Bortak, MIT's Brendan Chang, SUNY New Paltz's Tim Ferriter, Springfield's Nick Ferry, Juniata's Paul Kuhn and Springfield's Jimmy O'Leary are the other repeat All-Americans on the first team.  Nazareth's Luke Lawatsch and NYU's Connor Mortland are the only members of the second team who have earned All-American honors multiple times.


The selections were made by the AVCA Men's Division III Volleyball All-America Committee: chairperson Charlie Sullivan (Springfield College), Todd Hollenbeck (UC Santa Cruz), Paul Dill (MIT), John Hutton (D'Youville), Braden Zamore (Daniel Webster), Hudson Bates (Marymount), Dan Ames (Dominican), Evan Giglio (Wentworth IT), Ray Bello (Hunter), Robert Cole (NJCU), Richard Gary (Wells).

 


2014 AVCA MEN'S DIVISION III FIRST-TEAM ALL-AMERICA

 

Player

Institution

Pos.

Yr.

Ht.

Hometown

Aaron Almario$+

Rivier University

MB

Sr.

6'7

Alhambra, CA

Joe Bortak$*

Juniata College

MB

Jr.

6'7

Jeannette, PA

Brendan Chang*

Mass. Inst. Of Technology

L

So.

5'9

Laytonsville, MD

Tim Ferriter*

SUNY New Paltz

OH

So.

6'3

Rochester, NY

Nick Ferry#

Springfield College

L

Sr.

6'0

Valencia, CA

Paul Kuhn+

Juniata College

OH

Jr.

6'7

York, PA

Jack McKee

Baruch College

RS

Sr.

6'6

Bay Shore, NY

Jimmy O'Leary+

Springfield College

MB

Sr.

6'6

Reading, PA

Keaton Pieper

Springfield College

S

Jr.

6'4

Dallas, TX

Christian Smith

SUNY New Paltz

S

So.

6'5

Massapequa, NY

Chris Vaughan

Stevens Inst. Of Technology

OH

So.

6'4

Medford, NJ

Luis Vega

Springfield College

OH

So.

6'0

Corozal, Puerto Rico

Michael Vellutato

Elmira College

S

Sr.

6'1

Topanga, CA

Connor Wexter@^*

Carthage College

S

Sr.

6'1

New Lenox, IL

 

2014 AVCA MEN'S DIVISION III SECOND-TEAM ALL-AMERICA


Player

Institution

Pos.

Yr.

Ht.

Hometown

Chad Albert

Juniata College

MB

So.

6'5

Cranberry Township, PA

Bez Arslani

Kean University

OH

Jr.

6'1

Wayne, NJ

Trevor Barrett

Medaille College

RS

Sr.

 

Amherst, NY

Matt Bynon

Rivier University

L/DS

Sr.

5'9

Burnt Hills, NY

Luke Lawatsch*

Nazareth College

MB

Jr.

6'5

Penfield, NY

Alex McColgin

Juniata College

RS

Jr.

6'4

Buffalo, NY

Connor Mortland@$

New York University

S

Sr.

6'5

San Diego, CA

Alec Redlich

Lakeland College

OH

Jr.

6'1

Wauwatosa, WI

Gabe Shankweiler

Stevens Inst. Of Technology

OH

Fr.

6'2

Allentown, PA

Daniel Smith

Stevens Inst. Of Technology

MB

Jr.

6'4

Tucson, AZ

Jon Storm+

Carthage College

OH

Jr.

6'5

Naperville, IL

Paul Syta

Mass. Inst. Of Technology

S

Sr.

6'2

Fairport, NY

J.P. Tulaka

Carthage College

MB

So.

6'5

Westmont, IL

Steven Woessner

SUNY New Paltz

MB

Fr.

6'5

Massapequa Park, NY

  

 

2014 AVCA Division III Men's National Player of the Year: Announced April 24 at the NCAA Division III Men's Volleyball Championship banquet in Huntingdon, PA.

2014 AVCA Newcomer of the Year: Steven Woessner, SUNY New Paltz


* - 2013 AVCA Division III Men's First-Team All-America selection
+ - 2013 AVCA Division III Men's Second-Team All-America selection

^ - 2012 AVCA Division III Men's First-Team All-America selection

$ - 2012 AVCA Division III Men's Second-Team All-America selection

# - 2011 AVCA Division III Men's First-Team All-America selection
@-2011 AVCA Division III Men's Second-Team All-America selection

 

AVCA Division III Honorable Mention


Chris Markuson, Rivier, OH, Junior

Adam Weaver, Hilbert, OH, Senior


 

AVCA Division III First-Team All-America

 

Aaron Almario, a 6-7 middle blocker for Rivier University, is a senior from Alhambra, Calif. There were high expectations for Almario to remain one of the best heading into the 2014 season, and he did not disappoint. He ranks in the top-10 nationally in both hitting percentage (.401) and blocks per set (1.13) while placing second on his team in kills per set (2.46).Rivier holds a No. 4 seed heading into the NCAA Tournament, and will play No. 5Carthage on April 25th. This is Almario's third AVCA All-American honor, but his first on the first team.


Joe Bortak, a 6-7middle blocker at Juniata College, is a junior from Jeannette, Pa. One of the most efficient hitters in the nation, Bortak heads into the NCAA Tournament ranked second in the country in hitting percentage hitting at a .434 clip. However, he doesn't let that impact what he can do on the defensive end averaging nearly one block per set. Bortak joins Almario as a three-time AVCA All-American.


Brendan Chang, a 5-9 libero for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a sophomore from Laytonsville, Md. In a game full of gaudy offensive numbers, Chang has proven to be one of the best in handling what the hitters have coming his way. His3.25 digs per set places him in the top-5 in the country and first in the United Volleyball Conference. He had a big hand in keeping MIT's opponents to just a 0.151 team hitting percentage on the season. Chang has garnered AVCA First-Team All-American honors for the second consecutive year.


Tim Ferriter, a 6-3 outside hitter for SUNY New Paltz, is a sophomore from Rochester, N.Y. There are few players who can beat a team in a handful of ways, but Ferriter is one of them. He ranks in the top-10 of the UVC in hitting percentage (0.365), kills per set (3.71) and service aces per set (0.32). In one day in February when the Hawks swept both then-No. 1Rivier and then-No. 2 Springfield, Ferriter combined for 27 kills, including hitting an even .500 against the Pride. Ferriter is now a two-time AVCA First-Team All-American.


Nick Ferry, a 6-0 libero for Springfield College, is a senior from Valencia, Calif. The Pride has consistently been one of the top teams in the country in the last four years thanks in large part because of the play of Nick Ferry. His 2.44 digs per set places him first on the squad as he helped lead the Pride to a No. 1 seed heading into the NCAA Tournament. Ferry will also be looking for his third consecutive NCAA Championship. Ferry was named an AVCA First-Team All-American in 2011, making this his second honor.


Paul Kuhn, a 6-7outside hitter for Juniata College, is a junior from York, Pa. He helped leadthe Eagles to a 2014 Continental Volleyball Conference Championship as his school will play host to the NCAA Tournament. His .411 CVC hitting percentage and 35 service aces place him third in the league. He came through in the conference semifinal against Carthage, smashing a team-high 13 kills on .455 hitting. After earning AVCA Second-Team All-American honors a year ago, this is second AA appearance.


Jack McKee, a 6-6 right-side for Baruch College, is a senior from Bay Shore, N.Y. He entered the NCAA Tournament as one of the most feared attackers in the country, averaging 3.77 kills per set. That's not to say he shouldn't be taken seriously on defense. McKee is third on the Bearcats accumulating 185 digs and second with 107 blocks. For his outstanding season, he was named the 2014 CUNYAC Most Valuable Player. McKee earns AVCA All-American honors for the first time.


Jimmy O'Leary, a 6-6 middle blocker for Springfield College, is a senior from Reading, Pa. There is no question that Springfield would not be in the position they're currently in if not for the play of this senior. He's currently tops in the country in hitting percentage at .501 and No.3 in blocks per set with 1.18. Springfield will play Endicott in the secondround of the NCAA Tournament, who already defeated the Gulls in straight sets on April 4th. O'Leary is now a two-time AVCA All-American after making the second team a year ago.


Keaton Pieper, a 6-4 setter for Springfield College, is a junior from Dallas, Texas. Currently ranked fifth in the nation in assists per set (10.19), Pieper also contributes on the defensive end averaging0.84 digs and 0.70 blocks per set. His incredible skill set and instincts contributed to the team's 0.328 hitting percentage, which is good for the highest in the country. Pieper is afirst-time AVCA All-American.


Christian Smith,a 6-5 setter for SUNY New Paltz, is a sophomore from Massapequa, N.Y. It should be no coincidence the Hawks currently rank No. 1 in the country in assists per set (12.44) and kills per set (13.42) and second in team hitting percentage (.323). Being a versatile setter, he also nailed 184kills, 33 aces, 125 digs and 59 blocks. The work of Smith helped them earn the No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, which for them will begin on April 25thon the campus of Juniata College. This is Smith's first AVCA All-American award.


Chris Vaughan, a 6-4 outside hitter for the Stevens Institute of Technology, is a sophomore from Medford, N.J. In just his second year as a member of the Ducks, Vaughan has established himself as one of the best in the competitive United Volleyball Conference. His 3.52 kills per set places him seventh in the conference while his team-leading 4.04 points per set has a lot to do with his 213 digs and 67total blocks. Vaughan is now a first-time AVCA All-American.


Luis Vega, a 6-0 outside hitter for Springfield College, is a sophomore from Corozal, Puerto Rico. One of the more dynamic players in 2014, Luis Vega became just the second player in Men's Division III history to record consecutive AVCA National Player of the Week honors when he did it the weeks of April 1st and April 8th.In a team with four AVCA All-Americans, Vega ranks first on the Pride averaging3.87 kills per set to accompany his .362 hitting percentage. Vega earns his first AVCA All-American honor.


Michael Vellutato, a 6-1 setter for Elmira College, is a senior from Topanga, Calif. His 10.32assists per set places him in the top-5 nationally as he led his Soaring Eagles a top-15 national ranking for every week of the season, reaching as high as seventh. His 41 service aces also ranked him eighth in the United Volleyball Conference. Vellutato is now a first-time AVCA All-American.


Connor Wexter, a 6-1 setter for Carthage College, is a senior from New Lenox, Ill. Just the fifth player in Division III Men'sVolleyball history to earn AVCA All-American honor four times, Wexter has led his squad to another berth to a national championship tournament. He currently sits at No. 1 in the country with a 10.88 assists per set average. The No. 5 seed Red Men will take on No. 4 Rivier on April 25th in the NCAA Quarterfinals.


AVCA Division III Second-Team All-America

Chad Albert, a 6-5 middle blocker for Juniata College, is a sophomore from Cranberry Township, Pa. Every opposing attacker has to be aware of where Albert is on the court. Ranking in the top-10 nationally in blocks perset (1.10), Juniata has one of the best starting lineups in the country with four AVCA All-Americans in 2014. This is Albert's first AVCA All-American appearance.


Bez Arslani, a 6-1 outside hitter for Kean University, is a junior from Wayne, N.J. Arslani joins Steve Vahalla as the only two members of the Kean program to be selected AVCA All-Americans. Arslani earned the Skyline Player of the Year after leading the Cougars to a third consecutive conference championship. In the four-set victory over Ramapo to complete the perfect 14-0 conference record, Arslani smashed 21 kills on .326 hitting with 11 digs.


Trevor Barrett, a right side for Medaille College, is a senior from Amherst, N.Y. In February, he became just the seventh player in program history to record 1,000 kills. The First-Team All-UVC honoree led the Mavericks with 3.90 kills per set and third on the team in digs and blocks with 167 and 59, respectively. Barrett is now a first-time AVCA All-American.


Matt Bynon, a 5-9 libero for Rivier University, is a senior from Burnt Hills, N.Y. Placing second in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference with 2.56 digs per set, Bynon helped lead the Raiders to an NCAA Tournament berth where they will take on Carthage. Rivier is no stranger to playing big matches against the nation's best with five wins coming against teams currently in the top-15 of the latest AVCA Coaches Poll. Bynon earns AVCA All-American accolades for the first time.


Luke Lawatsch, a 6-5 middle blocker for Nazareth College, is a junior from Penfield, N.Y. One of the more feared middles in the sport, Luwatsch ranks nationally in the top-10 averaging 1.13 blocks per set. His 97 total blocks were 36 more behind the second-highest individual total from Tim Zyburt who recorded 61 in the 2014 campaign. This is Lawatsch's second AVCA All-American honor after making it on to the first team a year ago.


Alex McColgin, a 6-4 right side from Juniata College, is a junior from Buffalo, N.Y. One of four Eagles to make All-CVC honors, McColgin proved to be one of the steadiest players in the nation. A "jack of all trades" contributor for one of the top teams in the nation, McColgin averaged nearly three kills per set, and notched96 digs and 68 blocks. He leads the No. 3 ranked team in points with 302.5.McColgin is a first-time AVCA All-American.


Connor Mortland, a 6-5 setter for New York University, is a senior from San Diego, Calif. Moving nearly 3,000 miles across the country from the Golden Coast to the Big Apple, Mortland established himself as one of the most decorated setters in program history. He was a lot more than a traditional setter despite his 10.38assists per set. He attacked at nearly a .400 clip taking 128 swings. His 124digs ranked him second on the Violets while also adding 51 blocks. Mortland ends his NYU playing career a three-time AVCA All-American.


Alec Redlich, a 6-1outside hitter for Lakeland College, is a junior from Wauwatosa, Wisc. After competing the previous 17 seasons at the club level, Redlich led the Muskies to a nationally-ranked Division III program in 2014. Redlich ranks in the top-25 recording 3.58kills per set while finishing second on the team with 173 digs (1.77 per set).He earned Sports Imports/AVCA Player of the Week honors the week of February 11thwhen he averaged 15.5 points per match en route to Lakeland knocking off threetop-15 teams, including then-No. 1 Juniata. Redlich is the first player in program history to be selected an AVCA All-American.


Gabe Shankweiler, a 6-2 outside hitter for the Stevens Institute of Technology, is a freshman from Allentown, Penn. Second on the Ducks in points per set (3.89) and kills per set (3.41) to teammate and AVCA First-Team All-American Chris Vaughan, Shankweiler recorded a double-double (14 kills, 11 digs) in their NCAA Tournament first round win over Baruch. For his strong freshman campaign, the Pennsylvania native was selected the UVC's co-Rookie of the Year.


Daniel Smith, a 6-4 middle blocker for the Stevens Institute of Technology, is a junior from Tucson, Ariz. Smith will lead his Ducks into the second round of the NCAA Tournament against the No. 2 seed SUNY New Paltz Hawks. In order for them to be in this position, Smith has had a tremendous 2014 campaign, ranking in thetop-10 nationally hitting at a .414 clip. Defensively, his 116 total blocks(1.09 per set) also puts him amongst the best in the country. Smith earns AVCA All-American honors for the first time.


Jon Storm, a 6-5 outside hitter for Carthage College, is a junior from Naperville, Ill. An All-CVC West Division Honoree, Storm was second on the team with 3.38 kills per set to accompany his 1.72 digs per set. The Red Men will play Rivier in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. This marks Storm's second consecutive AVCA Second-Team All-American appearance.

 

Paul Syta, a 6-2 setter for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a senior from Fairport, N.Y. Syta was a do-it-all setter for the nationally-ranked Engineers in 2014. In addition to his 750assists (7.35 p/s), the New York native tallied 126 kills, 31 aces, 226 digs(2.22 p/s) and 49 total blocks (0.48 p/s). MIT is ranked No. 6 in the latest AVCA Coaches Poll, and have remained in the top-10 since the third week of the year. Syta garners AVCA All-American accolades for the first time.


J.P. Tulaka, a 6-5 middle blocker for Carthage College, is a sophomore from Westmont, Ill. His .484 hitting percentage, 1.95 kills per set and 0.86 blocks per set were good enough to be named to the All-CVC West Division Team and his first AVCA All-American award. In Carthage's regular season finale against the College of Mount St. Joseph, Tulaka smashed 10 kills on .471 hitting.


Steven Woessner, a 6-5 middle blocker for SUNY New Paltz, is a freshman from Massapequa Park, N.Y. He garnered Sports Imports/AVCA Player of the Week honors last week as he helped the Hawks win their first ever UVC Conference Tournament. He certainly left his mark behind the service line, nailing 13 aces in the final three matches. The 2014 AVCA Newcomer of the Year recorded a .359 hitting percentage, which puts him in the top-20 nationally.

 

 

                                                                                               - AVCA -

 

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