Springfield College Takes Division III Men’s Title

  0 Wendy Mayer | April 30th, 2017 | College - Men's Indoor, Division III, News

Match Stats

  • Springfield 3, SUNY New Paltz 1 (22-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-21)
  • Springfield moves to 29-2; SUNY New Paltz falls to 27-9
  • Springfield wins the Division III National Championship
  • Springfield, Massachusetts
  • Attendance: 2000
  • Box Score

The Springfield College Pride used an overwhelming blocking effort (15-7) and consistent hitting performance (.259) to defeat SUNY New Paltz in four sets on Sunday for the NCAA Division III title. The 22-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-21 win avenged last year’s title match loss and garnered the program its 10th men’s volleyball national championship and fourth Division III crown (also 2012, 2013, 2014).

Springfield outdid New Paltz in every statistical category except aces, outhitting the Hawks .259 to .145, outblocking them 15-7 and outdigging them 42-39. New Paltz served up four aces to Springfield’s three.

Senior outside hitter Luis Vega, who was named as the Division III Player of the Year earlier in the week, led the Pride with 17 kills, while also adding four blocks and an ace en route to Player of the Championships honors. Senior right side Sean Zuvich added 13 kills on a .323 hitting effort, while adding eight digs and four blocks. Junior outside Ricardo Padilla Ayala just missed a double-double with nine kills and nine digs. Sophomore middle blocker Kyle Jasuta led Springfield at the net with seven blocks.

Senior middle Jake Roessler and junior outside Anthony Bonilla led New Paltz with double-digit kill efforts, turning in 12 and 11 respectively. Bonilla also added eight digs and an ace. Sophomore outside Bradley Schneider added eight kills, while senior middle C.J. Borfitz and senior middle Steven Woessner chipped in seven apiece. Borfitz put up a team-best four blocks, while freshman libero Robert Nolan led the backcourt with 16 digs.

New Paltz stormed out to a 6-2 lead behind a pair of Borfitz kills, and held the advantage the remainder of Set 1. The Hawks led by five at 14-9 with help from five Pride miscues. Springfield charge back to within one at 22-21, as Zuvich turned in three kills and two blocks. A kill by Vega made it 23-22, but a service error and hitting error capped the 25-22 New Paltz win.

After falling behind 5-2 in Set 2, Springfield rallied with seven of the next nine points to take a 9-7 lead of its own. A trio of New Paltz errors and a pair of blocks by Luis Garcia Rubio aided the rally. The teams tied six times, last at 14-all, before an ace by Ben Cohen made it 16-14 Pride. A pair of Springfield errors tied it up at 16 and the teams traded points leading to a 20-20 stalemate. The Pride closed out the set with a 5-2 run.

The teams split the first 30 points of Set 3, with neither gaining more than a two-point edge, before a pair of Ayala blocks pushed Springfield ahead 18-15. The Pride held New Paltz at bay the rest of the stanza. Two kills each by Ayala and Zuvich sealed the set.

The teams were knotted at 13-all midway through Set 4. A kill and a block by Jasuta put Springfield on top 16-13. Another Jasuta stuff made it 18-15 Pride and a trio of New Paltz miscues raised the advantage to four at 22-18. Kills by Ayala and Vega made it 24-19. Bonilla and Roessler turned in kills to prolong the match, but a service error gave Springfield the 25-21 win and the title.

Watch highlights of the match here.

Division III Championship Results

Quarterfinals (April 28)

Springfield def. Hunter 25-13, 25-13, 25-16

Stevens Institute def. Dominican (Ill.) 25-21, 25-17, 26-28, 25-23

SUNY New Paltz def. Vassar 25-19, 25-15, 25-23

Wentworth def. Juniata 25-20, 25-17, 25-21

Semifinals (April 29)

Springfield def. Stevens Institute 25-21, 25-14, 28-26

SUNY New Paltz def. Wentworth 25-19, 21-25, 23-25, 25-20, 15-12


Courtesy: Springfield Athletics

Springfield, Mass. – April 30, 2017 – In front of sold out court at Blake Arena, the Springfield College men’s volleyball team captured the 2017 NCAA Division III National Championship on Sunday afternoon in four sets over New Paltz. Set scores were 22-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-21 in favor of Pride.

Playing in a Division III National Championship for the eighth-straight season, Springfield wrapped up the year with a 29-2 record, including a 27-1 mark against Division III opponents.  The loss concluded New Paltz’s season with a 27-9 record.

Today’s match proved to be a rematch of the 2016 NCAA Division III Championship, and Springfield defeated New Paltz for the third time this season to claim the national title. Springfield has now captured 10 Division III national championships as a men’s volleyball program, including winning four NCAA Division III Championships after claiming the crown in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Springfield’s Luis Vega (Corozal, Puerto Rico) was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Championship for the third time in his career as he recorded a match-high 17 kills to go along with four blocks and four digs.  Teammates Luis Garcia Rubio (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) and Kyle Jasuta (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) joined Vega on the All-Tournament Team as Garcia Rubio totaled 43 assists, eight digs, and three blocks and Jasuta registered a career-high seven blocks. Ricardo Padilla Ayala (San Juan, Puerto Rico) notched a team-best nine digs and Sean Zuvich (San Pedro, Calif.) totaled 13 kills, eight digs, and four blocks.

For New Paltz, Jake Roessler led the way with 12 kills, while Anthony Bonilla added 11 kills.  Matthew Grace posted 41 assists leading the offense, Robert Nolan produced 16 digs, and C.J. Borfitz added a team-best four blocks.

New Paltz raced out to a 6-2 lead when Bonilla converted out of the backrow in transition and Springfield head coach Charlie Sullivan wasted little time calling a timeout. Jonathan Rodriguez Lopez (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) would finish out of the middle to bring Springfield within 11-9, but the visitors answered with three-straight points, thanks to a pair of Pride attacks errors, and Sullivan burned his second timeout of the frame.  Woessner ripped an ace to push the Hawks advantage to 18-14, and Springfield would climb within one twice, the last coming at 23-22 on a huge backrow kill by Vega, only to have a two Pride miscues give New Paltz the 25-22 win.

Vega and Rodriguez combined for a block at 2-1 in the second set, but the Hawks responded with four-straight points to build a 5-2 cushion.  Springfield would answer back, using a pair of blocks from Garcia Rubio to fuel a 7-2 surge and earn a 9-7 lead.  An ace from Vega allowed the Pride to gain a 16-14 edge, but three-consecutive Springfield errors made Sullivan call a timeout trailing 17-16.   Vega elevated for a solo stuff to put Springfield back on top, 20-19, and New Paltz burned a timeout of their own when Jasuta painted an ace along the back line at 22-20.  Zuvich pounded a kill in system for set point at 24-21, and the Pride took a 25-22 following a Hawks service error.  New Paltz was limited to a -.174 hitting percentage thanks to the Pride totaling 6.5 team blocks.

The third set started as a back-and-forth affair with 12 ties in the early going as New Paltz owned a took 15-14 edge into the media timeout.  Springfield then used a Vega backrow kill to kickstart a 4-0 run that was capped off by a solo stuff from Padilla Ayala as the Hawks called for a timeout at 18-15.   The visitors would make it a 18-17 game when Bonilla finished in transition, but the Pride produced a 3-1 burst to regain a three-point edge on a Padilla Ayala kill, forcing the visitors into their final timeout.  After Woessner buried a ball in the middle to make Sullivan call timeout with a 23-22 edge., Zuvich ripped a ball cross court for set point and Padilla Ayala blasted a kill off the block for the 25-23 win.  Vega was dominant in the frame, totaling eight kills on 15 errorless attempts.

Borfitz put away an overpass kill for a 5-3 lead to begin the fourth set, but a 5-1 push fueled by a three kills from Vega put the hosts ahead 8-6.   After Padilla Ayala crafted a kill out of the backrow for the 10-8 lead, Springfield committed three-straight attack errors and Sullivan called for another timeout.  Even at 13, the hosts rattled off three-straight points, with a Jasuta closing for a solo stuff as New Paltz called for a timeout at 16-13.  The Hawks would get as close as 16-15 when Bonilla blasted a back row ball, but out of a timeout, Springfield responded with a 5-2 push to gain some breathing room following a Hawks attack error. Vega would later elevate for a crafty kill for set point and three points laster, New Paltz committed its 18 service error of the match sealed the Pride’s 10th national title.

Courtesy: New Paltz Athletics

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Looking to repeat as NCAA Division III Men’s Volleyball champions, the State University of New York at New Paltz fell just short on Sunday, succumbing to host and No. 1 Springfield 3-1 (25-22, 22-25, 23-25, 21-25) in a sold-out Blake Arena.

For the Hawks, they conclude the season at 27-9 overall and 0-3 against the Pride this year. In a roller-coaster type campaign, New Paltz was on the verge on not even making the tournament but earned an at-large bid by the selection committee and played with house money throughout the bracket, collecting wins over Kean, No. 2 Vassar and No. 5 Wentworth en route to today’s title game. In the last four seasons, the senior class of Steven Woessner (Massapequa Park, N.Y./Massapequa), Jake Roessler (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa), C.J. Borfitz (Inwood, N.Y./Lawrence) and Steve Gassert (Bellmore, N.Y./John F. Kennedy) have put up very impressive numbers and leave their winning legacy with the team. The quartet helped New Paltz accrue an overall record of 115-21 (.846), a UVC record of 28-6 (.826) with two UVC titles (2014, 2016), four-straight NCAA Semifinal appearances (2014-17) and one NCAA championship (2016) during their careers.

As for the Pride (29-2 overall), the home team collects their 10th overall national title and fourth in NCAA Division III play since the tournament started in 2012 (2012, 2013, 2014, 2017).

New Paltz came out firing in the first set and clicked on all cylinders, hitting .300 on way to a 25-22 opening stanza victory. However, Springfield regrouped and claimed the next three sets to close out the national title bout.

Offensively, Roessler led the way with 12 kills and junior Anthony Bonilla (New Paltz, N.Y./New Paltz) followed with 11 terminations and eight digs. Sophomore Bradley Schneider (Lockport, N.Y./Lockport) tallied eight kills while Woessner and Borfitz both provided seven kills apiece. Freshman setter Matthew Grace (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem North) distributed 41 assists for New Paltz and freshman libero Robert Nolan (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem North) collected a match-high 16 digs.

The Hawks were dialed in during the first set, jumping out to an 11-8 lead and used two attacking errors by the Pride to go ahead 14-9. Springfield got within two (16-14) before a kill and ace by Woessner handed the Hawks an 18-14 edge. Executions by Schneider and Borfitz extended the New Paltz lead to 22-18 but the Pride would not go away and came to within one (22-21) until another Woessner kill and two more attacking errors by Springfield handed New Paltz the set one victory.

Set two started in favor of New Paltz as the Hawks led in the early stages, 5-2. Again, the Pride rallied and took a 9-7 lead before New Paltz responded and knotted the contest up at 12-12. Trailing 16-14, the Hawks took advantage of three consecutive Pride errors to go ahead 17-16. Tied at 20-all, Springfield used an attacking and serving error to tie the match at 1-1.

A seesaw battle ensued in the third set with neither team claiming more than a two-point lead until Springfield went ahead, 18-15. Following a kill from Bonilla, the Hawks clawed back to within one, 18-17, but again the Pride countered and bounced up 22-19. Kills from Schneider and Woessner brought the Hawks even closer but still trailed, 23-22, as Springfield was able to take control of the match, going up 2-1.

Much like the third set, stanza number four was tight with Springfield going up 10-8 before a 3-0 spurt by New Paltz off three Pride attacking errors gave the Hawks an 11-10 lead, forcing Springfield to call timeout. Out of the break, the Pride regained the lead 16-13 and later 21-17. As was the story for the entire season, New Paltz would not go down without a fight and battled until the last whistle. Down to match point, 24-19, kills by Bonilla and Roessler brought the Hawks to within three, 24-21. However, a service into the net handed Springfield the 2017 title and 10th overall crown.

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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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