Lexington, Ky. - January 4, 2017 - The Springfield College men's volleyball program will begin the season as the top-ranked team in the country according to the 2017 AVCA Division III Men's Preseason Top 15 Coaches Poll, which was released Tuesday afternoon.
This marks the second-straight season and eighth time in program history that Springfield College has opened the season with the top billing in the preseason poll, as the Pride received 12 out of a possible 17 first-place votes to total 248 points. New Paltz was ranked second with 229 points, including the other five first-place votes, while Stevens was third with 219 points. Carthage and Stevenson rounded out the top five.
This season, Springfield will have several matches against teams that appear in the preseason national poll. Highlighting the schedule are a pair of rematches of last year's NCAA Division III Championship match versus 2nd-ranked New Paltz, including a home showdown on April 6. The Pride is also scheduled to take on 8th-ranked Vassar, 9th-ranked Wentworth twice, 10th-ranked Kean, 14th-ranked NYU, and 15th-ranked Rivier twice.
Springfield will also battle MIT, Endicott, and Marymount, all of whom are among teams receiving votes in the national poll.
The Pride return five starters from a team that went 28-4 a season ago and played in its seventh-consecutive national championship match. Since the NCAA began its sponsorship of the Division III Men's Volleyball National Championship in 2012, head coach Charlie Sullivan has led the Pride to a 133-11 record against Division III opponents.