Lexington, Ky. - April 22, 2019 - The Springfield College men's volleyball team had four student-athletes earn American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Men's Division III All-America recognition.
Eli Gabriel Irizarry Pares (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) was chosen to the first team, while Kyle Jasuta (Manhattan Beach, Calif.), Brennen Brandow (Manorville, N.Y.) and Johjan Mussa Robles (Caguas, Puerto Rico) received second-team honors, while Brandow was selected as the AVCA Division III National Newcomer of the Year. Springfield's four honorees this year was the most of any program in the country.
As a program, Springfield College has had 29 student-athletes garner AVCA All-America recognition a total of 54 times, including 33 first-team selections. No other Division III program in the country has received more AVCA All-American selections than the Pride's 54 honorees.
In his second season at Springfield, Eli Gabriel Irizarry Pares has put together a dynamic year in helping the Pride have put together a 27-2 record. The sophomore has directed an offense that ranks sixth in the country with a .290 hitting percentage and has racked up 870 assists. In addition to leading the team with 42 aces, he has also contributed 119 kills at a .440 clip to go along with 50 blocks. Becoming the 20th student-athlete in program history to take home first-team honors, Eli Gabriel Irizarry Pares has been instrumental in Springfield earning the top seed in the NCAA Division III Championship for the third-straight season.
Jasuta earned the national honor for the third-straight year after an impressive final season where he registered a .425 hitting percentage with 185 kills, the third-most on the team. Jasuta's .425 hitting ranks eighth best in Division III in that category. A graduate student working on his MBA, Jasuta has totaled 73 blocks, the most on the team, to go along with 32 aces, and has been instrumental in Springfield ranking in the top two in the country of the past 59 AVCA Division III National Polls, dating back to 2015.
In his junior season at Springfield, Mussa Robles earned the national honor for the first time in his career. The Athletic Training major owns 270 digs on the year, the third best mark in single season history for the Pride, and has been a catalyst for Springfield holding its opponents to a .158 hitting percentage. After receiving over 575 serves this season, Mussa Robles owns a .946 service reception percentage and ranks in the top 20 nationally in digs per set.
In his first season in maroon and white, Brandow earned the national newcomer of the year award, making him the sixth member of the Pride to recieve this honor as he joined the likes of Ricardo Padilla Ayala (2015), Angel Perez (2012), Cal Palumbo (2008), A.J. Nally (2007), and Nick Beer (2004). The Physical Education major owns a .273 hitting percentage on a team-best 311 kills, making the first time a freshman has led the Pride in kills since 2001. Brandow was the only freshman in the country to earn all-america honors, as he also totaled 169 digs, 49 blocks, and 28 aces.
The top-seeded Pride will play in the NCAA Division III Championship Semifinals in Union, N.J. at Kean University against New Paltz on Friday at 4:00 pm.
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