AVCA Announces Division III All-Americans, Player of the Year Awards

  0 Wendy Mayer | April 29th, 2017 | College - Men's Indoor, Division III, News

Fourteen players representing 10 schools were named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s Division III first team All-America squad, while 14 more earned second team accolades.

Springfield College put three players on the first team, while Carthage College and Dominican University each boasted two. Springfield and Carthage ended up with five All-Americans each. Wentworth Institute of Technology managed five honors.

Springfield’s Luis Vega is the only three-time first team honoree, adding the 2017 accolade to first team honors in 2016 and 2014. Three other players garnered their third AVCA All-America honor. Springfield junior outside hitter Ricardo Padilla Ayala was a first team honoree in 2015 and earned second team accolades in 2016.  Carthage senior right side Griffin Shields garnered first team accolades in 2016 and second team honors in 2015. SUNY New Paltz middle blocker Steven Woessner was a first team honoree in 2016 and earned second team honors in 2014.

One other major honor announced on Monday was the selection of NYU’s freshman outside hitter Alex Li, of Cupertino, California, as the Division III AVCA Newcomer of the Year. The announcement of Vega as the Division III Player of the Year did not come until Thursday’s banquet.

In addition to being a three-time AVCA All-American, Vega averaged 4.21 kills per set, while hitting at a .463 clip in 2017. He also added 1.57 digs and 0.48 blocks per set.

The ECAC Division III North Men’s Volleyball Co-Offensive Player of the Year posted double-digit kills in 19 matches. He is the fourth TeamSnap/AVCA National Player of the Year for Springfield, following AJ Nally (2010), Cal Palumo (2011) and Jimmy O’Leary (2014).

2017 AVCA Division III Player of the Year: Luis Vega, Springfield, Sr., OH

2017 AVCA Newcomer of the Year: Alex Li, NYU, OH


Player Institution Pos. Yr. Hometown
Cody Bolan Carthage College L Sr. Northbrook, Ill.
Alex Coyne$ Dominican University S Sr. Naperville, Ill.
Luis Garcia Rubio* Springfield College S Sr. Bayamon, Puerto Rico
Matthew Knigge* Vassar College MB Jr. New Egypt, N.J.
Alex Li NYU OH Fr. Cupertino, Calif.
Lake Merchen* UC Santa Cruz OH Jr. Clovis, Calif.
Ricardo Padilla Ayala!^ Springfield College OH Jr. San Juan, Puerto Rico
Jake Reed Wentworth Inst. of Technology OH Sr. Arvada, Colo.
Griffin Shields*$ Carthage College RS Sr. Naperville, Ill.
Luke Spicer Dominican University RS Jr. St. Charles, Ill.
Steven Tarquinio Hunter College MB Sr. Smithtown, N.Y.
Luis Vega*# Springfield College OH Sr. Corozal, Puerto Rico
TJ Wiechecki Marymount University RS Jr. Wilmington, Del.
Steven Woessner*% SUNY New Paltz MB Sr. Massapequa Park, N.Y.


Player Institution Pos. Yr. Hometown
Anthony Bonilla SUNY New Paltz OH Jr. New Paltz, N.Y.
Thomas Burrell Stevens Inst. of Technology MB Jr. Somerset, N.J.
Marc Hansen* Carthage College OH Sr. Oak Lawn, Ill.
Jake Howard UC Santa Cruz OH Sr. Encino, Calif.
Eli Irizarry Pares Springfield College L So. San Juan, Puerto Rico
Kyle Jasuta Springfield College MB So. Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Zechariah Lee Vassar College S Jr. Santa Clarita, Calif.
David Lehman Stevens Inst. of Technology OH Fr. Oakland, Calif.
Zach Lillig Carthage College MB Jr. Northbrook, Ill.
Sean Mullen Wentworth Inst. of Technology OH Sr. Longwood, Fla.
Alex Potts! Wentworth Inst. of Technology MB Sr. Niverville, N.Y.
Matt Reinsel! Carthage College S So. St. Louis, Mo.
Collin Ritter Wentworth Inst. of Technology S Jr. Feeding Hills, Mass.
Kyle Seeley! Juniata College MB Sr. Ellicott City, Md.

* – 2016 AVCA Division III Men’s First-Team All-America selection
! – 2016 AVCA Division III Men’s Second-Team All-America selection
^ – 2015 AVCA Division III Men’s First-Team All-America selection
$ – 2015 AVCA Division III Men’s Second-Team All-America selection
# – 2014 AVCA Division III Men’s First-Team All-America selection
% – 2014 AVCA Division III Men’s Second-Team All-America selection

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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for Volleymob.com after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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