Danbury, Conn. - May 10, 2018 - Following a sensational 2018 season in which they hoisted their 11th national championship trophy, the Springfield College men's volleyball team had several members recognized by the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) as part of their 2018 Division III Men's Volleyball All-ECAC Team and Major Award Winners.
Sergio Figueroa Velez (San Juan, Puerto Rico) was named the ECAC Offensive Player of the Year, Eli Irizarry Pares (San Juan, Puerto Rico) was tabbed the ECAC Defensive Player of the Year, and head coach Charlie Sullivan was selected as the ECAC Coach of the Year. Additionally, Figueroa Velez and Irizarry Pares were joined by Mike Neary (Ventura, Calif.) on the All-ECAC First Team, while Kyle Jasuta (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) and Joseth Irizarry Feliciano (Adjuntas, Puerto Rico) garnered honorable mention honors.
In his second season at Springfield, Figueroa Velez has put together a dynamic season in helping the Pride win the 2018 NCAA Division III National Championship. The Movement and Sport Studies major led the team in kills (265) and aces (64), while ranking second on the squad in digs (166) and third in blocks (41). He was also named the AVCA Division III Men's Volleyball National Player of the Year as he totaled a .315 hitting percentage on the pin for the Pride.
Irizarry Pares collected his major honor in a season in which he totaled 218 digs and had a serve-receive percentage of 95.5% as the Pride's libero. An incredibly gifted athlete, Irizarry Pares garnered All-Tournament Team honors at the NCAA Championship as he headlined a defensive unit that limited its opponents to a .082 hitting percentage in the three postseason games that Springfield was victorious in.
In his 20th season on the sidelines, Sullivan led a Springfield team that set a NCAA record during the season for most consecutive sets won with 43, and a program record with a 28-match winning streak. The Pride's 31-2 record resulted in the nation's best winning percentage (.939) and the Pride also had the best hitting percentage (.372) and ranked third in aces per set (2.39) and fifth in kills per set (12.60).
Neary picked up the All-ECAC honor in a season which he helped lead Springfield the national title. The NCAA Division III Championship's Most Outstanding Player, Neary, who is majoring in Enviornmental Science, totaled 668 assists and 23 aces to go along with 65 digs and 34 blocks. Thanks to his play, Springfield finished the season with a 31-2 record, including a perfect 29-0 against Division III teams.
Jasuta, who was previously chosen as an AVCA Division III All-America Second Team honoree, registered a .471 hitting percentage with 165 kills, the second-most on the team. The Accounting and Finance major totaled 71 blocks, the second-most on the team, to go along with 28 aces as he has helped power an offense that led the country in team hitting percentage (.372).
In his final season at Springfield, Irizarry Feliciano, who will graduate with a degree in Sport Management, owned a .496 hitting percentage on 135 kills, while appearing in a team-best 102 sets. Keying a defense that is allowing its opponents a .142 hitting percentage, Irizarry Feliciano totaled a team-best 85 blocks as he also was named an AVCA All-America Second Team selection.