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Men's Volleyball To Begin NCAA Title Defense This Weekend

Springfield College Men's Volleyball Springfield, Mass. - April 25, 2013 - Beginning on Friday afternoon, top-seeded Springfield College men's volleyball team will begin its quest to defend its national crown when it competes in the 2013 NCAA Division III Men's Volleyball Championship at Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y.

The Pride (29-3) was selected to the 2013 NCAA Division III Championship and will take on Kean in the national quarterfinals on Friday, April 26. The winner will face the winner of contest between Baruch (33-5) and Stevens (25-8) in the national semifinals to be played Saturday, April 27.

Springfield vs. 2013 NCAA Field:
Springfield has faced five NCAA Tournament teams this season, going 5-1. The Pride split with Juniata, winning its first contest 3-0 on Feb. 1, and losing its second meeting in five sets just two weeks later. Springfield has swept Kean on Jan. 26, Baruch on March 9, Rivier on March 26. On April 3, the Pride rallied from two sets down to defeat Stevens, 3-2.

Championship History:
The Pride has won seven Division III titles, hoisting the Molten Invitational National Championship trophy six times 1997, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2008, 2010, before capturing the inaugural NCAA Division III crown in 2012.

Defending National Champs:
Springfield College won last year's NCAA Division III Men's Volleyball Championship by defeating Carthage College, 3-0, at Springfield College's own Blake Arena. Set scores were 25-21, 25-23, 25-16. The Pride was led by championship tournament MVP Mike Pelletier, who posted 10 kills, seven digs, and three blocks. In addition, Angel Perez had 10 kills, to go along with five digs and a .474 hitting percentage. All-Tournament team selections Greg Falcone finished with nine kills and had only one error in 12 swings, while Keaton Pieper added 35 assists.

Division III Supremacy:
In the last three years, Springfield has produced a 75-7 record against Division III opponents. Three of those seven losses came on the road at Juniata, while the Pride lost at UC Santa Cruz in its season opener in 2010 and fell to Nazareth in the 2011 title game. The Pride has only suffered home setbacks to NYU and Philadelphia Biblical.

Special Senior Class:
The senior class of Evan Acanfora, Mike Becker, John Coen, Mike Pelletier, Greg Falcone, Brendan McGourn, Alistair Matthews, and Mike Freytag is arguably one of the most decorated groups in the history of the program.

By receiving a bid to the 2013 NCAA Tournament, this group is the only class in program history to appear in the National Tournament in all four of their seasons. They have played in the last three national championship matches, capturing a pair of titles in 2010 and 2012.

They were part of the first ever Division III program to compete in Hawaii's Outrigger Invitational, and were just one win away from advancing to the NCAA Division I Final Four in 2011. In the past four years, Springfield has owned a record of 100-32, including a remarkable 75-7 record against Division III opponents.

Springfield’s All-Americans:
Springfield landed three student-athletes on this year’s AVCA All-America team, with Greg Falcone and Mike Pelletier being named to the first team and Jimmy O’Leary earning second-team honors. Falcone joins from Springfield College standout middle blocker Cal Palumbo ‘11, as the only members in program history to earn All-America honors all four years of their career.

In fact, other than Palumbo and Falcone, only Juniata’s Matt Werle ‘09 and Philadelphia Biblical’s Justin Brubaker ‘11 have earned the national honor four times. The Springfield College men’s volleyball program has the most AVCA All-America honors in Division III, with 31 selections over the past 10 years. A total of 18 student-athletes have been recognized in that time span.

Against The 2013 NCAA Championship Field
Kean
All Time Record: 2-0
Last Time Out:
On January 26, 2013, the Pride swept Kean, 25-13, 25-18, 25-11, in a three set victory. Springfield hit .441 as a team, with Alistair Matthews tallying nine kills at a .533 clip. Mike Pelletier recorded seven kills and seven digs, while Jimmy O'Leary produced eight kills, hitting .615 and notching three blocks.

Baruch
All Time Record: 8-0
Last Time Out:
Springfield swept Baruch, 25-10, 25-17, 25-15, in their last meeting on March 9, 2013. The Pride's Luis Vega pounded out a 12 kills, hitting .688, to go along with eight digs and two blocks. John Coen registered nine kills, three blocks, and three aces, while Jimmy O'Leary recorded seven kills and six blocks.

Stevens
All Time Record: 3-0
Last Time Out:
After dropping the first two sets and trailing 23-16 in the third, the Springfield College men's volleyball team regrouped and rallied for a five-set win at Stevens on April 3, 2013. The Pride prevailed over the Ducks in a, 23-25, 17-25, 30-28, 25-16, 15-7 victory. Springfield's John Coen hammered out 19 kills while Luis Vega recorded 16.

Nazareth
All Time Record: 3-2
Last Time Out:
Springfield bested Nazareth in four sets in the Juniata Invitational on February 25, 2012, taking down the Golden Flyers by the scores of 25-22, 25-15, 23-25, 25-16. Mike Pelletier posted 15 kills, hitting .344, to go along with six digs. Alistair Matthews produced 12 kills on 18 errorless attempts, while Angel Perez added nine kills at a .500 clip

UC Santa Cruz
All Time Record: 2-1
Last Time Out:
The Pride edged the Banana Slugs of UC-Santa Cruz, 3-1 on February 10, 2012 in the Volleyball Hall of Fame Morgan Classic, winning 25-18, 27-25, 17-25, 25-19. Springfield relied on a variety of players with double-figure totals in kills, including Angel Perez with 15 kills, along with Mike Pelletier and Jimmy O'Leary with 11 kills apiece.

Juniata
All Time Record: 20-24
Last Time Out:
Despite a team-best 24 kills from Mike Pelletier, Springfield was defeated by rival Juniata in a five-set marathon on February, 15, 2013. Juniata prevailed with scores of 24-26, 25-20, 22-25, 28-26, 24-22.

Rivier
All Time Record: 8-0
Last Time Out:
Springfield picked up a 25-13, 26-24, 25-22 victory over Rivier in three straight sets on March 26, 2013. John Coen had 10 kills, while Mike Pelletier added nine kills at a .421 clip. Both Jimmy O'Leary and Greg Falcone had eight kills, hitting .538.

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Head Coach Charlie Sullivan

Charlie Sullivan With eight national championships to his credit, Charlie Sullivan will enter his 16th season as head coach of the men's volleyball team in 2014. In 15 previous years at the helm, Sullivan owns an overall record of 256-158 for a .618 winning percentage. Read more.

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