Nally, who was selected an AVCA First Team All-American earlier in the week, guided the Pride to a 17-10 regular season record, which included 10 victories over Division I opponents. In addition, the Pride, with the assistance of Nally, rung up a 7-2 mark against Division III institutions, with five of those wins coming over nationally-ranked teams.
The Rochester, N.Y., native becomes the first player in Springfield College men’s volleyball history to be selected the AVCA Division III Men's National Player of the Year. An all-around asset for the program, Nally helped Springfield earn the EIVA’s berth into Friday’s Molten Invitational semifinals as the tournament’s No. 2 seed.
Nally’s final season at Springfield has been tremendous. He has had one of the best all-around seasons statistically in program history. His 396 kills rank 10th for most kills in a season, while his 256 digs is the second-highest single-season total in program history. Nally is just 20 digs away from breaking the single-season mark set in 1998.
The 6-4 outside hitter is averaging 4.08 kills per game and owns a hitting percentage of .282. Entering this weekend’s play, Nally is ranked 15th in the nation in digs per game and is 18th in the country in kills per game. He has chipped in with 75 blocks this year, fourth best on the team, and has only had 14 reception errors out of 538 serves received.
During his time in a Pride uniform, Springfield compiled a 70-37 record and captured its fifth Molten Invitational title in 2008. In addition to being named an AVCA Men’s Division III First-Team All-American earlier this week, Nally was also tabbed the AVCA Newcomer of the Year in 2007, a year in which he earned an AVCA Second-Team All-America mention. The accolades don’t stop there, as Nally was a four-time EIVA Division III All-Star and recently named the EIVA Division III Player of the Year.
In the seven-year history of the AVCA Men’s Division III National Player of the Year award, Nally becomes the first athlete from Springfield to be heralded with the prestigious honor. He joins Matt Werle, Ricky Ziegler and Kenny Eiser, all from Juniata, Andrew Cranford from Stevens, Bryan Shires from UC Santa Cruz, and Chris Schmidt from NYU as the only recipients of the award.
The last time Springfield College had a student-athlete selected as the national player of the year in any sport was in 2006. That year, junior Chris Sharpe was awarded the prestigious Melberger Award, symbolic of Division III's top football player in the nation.
Above Nally is pictured with Kevin Barnett, two-time Olympic player and NBC commentator for the 2008 Olympics, and guest speaker for the banquet.
(Photo Credit: Steve Janiak of Carthage College)