Lexington, Ky. - January 4, 2019 - The Springfield College men's volleyball program will begin the season as the top-ranked team in the country according to the 2019 AVCA Division III Men's Preseason Top 15 Coaches Poll.
This marks the fourth-straight season and 10th time in program history that Springfield College has opened the year with the top ranking in the preseason poll, as the Pride received 20 out of a possible 24 first-place votes to total 354 points. Stevens received the other four first-place votes and is ranked second with 340 points, while Carthage is third with 288 points. Kean and SUNY New Paltz rounded out the top five.
It has been an unprecedented run of success for Springfield, as the Pride are currently in the midst of the longest stretch of being ranked No. 1 in the history of AVCA Division III National Poll. To date, Springfield has been No.1 for the last 31-consecutive polls, besting the previous mark of 23 that was once held by Juniata from 2004-2006. The AVCA poll started in 1996.
This season, Springfield will have several matches against teams that appear in the preseason national poll. Highlighting the schedule are a pair of matches versus fifth-ranked New Paltz, including a home showdown on March 13. The Pride is also scheduled to take on No. 6 NYU, host No. 8 Cal Lutheran, battle 10th-ranked Vassar twice, including in Blake Arena on March 1st, as well as square off against 12th-ranked Marymount, and No. 15 Elms.
Springfield will also battle Rivier twice and clash with Endicott, both of which among teams receiving votes in the national poll.
The Pride return three starters from a team that went 31-2 a season ago, including a perfect 29-0 mark against Division III opponents, as it won the 2018 NCAA Division III National Championship, its second-straight title and 11th national championship 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 187-11 record against Division III opponents.