Lexington, Ky. - January 3, 2018 - The Springfield College men's volleyball program will begin the season as the top-ranked team in the country according to the 2018 AVCA Division III Men's Preseason Top 15 Coaches Poll, which was released Wednesday afternoon.
This marks the third-straight season and ninth time in program history that Springfield College has opened the season with the top billing in the preseason poll, as the Pride received 20 out of a possible 22 first-place votes to total 325 points. Stevens received the two other first-place votes and is ranked second with 301 points, while New Paltz is third with 288 points. Vassar and NYU 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 3rd-ranked New Paltz, including a home showdown on March 31. The Pride is also scheduled to take on 4th-ranked Vassar twice, including in Blake Arena on February 21st, 10th-ranked Wentworth, 12th-ranked MIT, and 13th-ranked Hunter.
Springfield will also battle Lasell, Endicott, and MSOE, all of whom are among teams receiving votes in the national poll.
The Pride return four starters from a team that went 29-2 a season ago and captured the 2017 NCAA Division III National Championship, the 10th national title in program history. 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 160-12 record against Division III opponents.