Every competitive team in this years 2017 NCAA Division III Men’s Volleyball Tournament wants to test their skills against the best – against the seemingly immortal Springfield Pride. Springfield has been a titan on the loose this year, as the Pride has no conference affiliation and boasts the staggering numbers of a .421 hit percentage along with 12.6 kills, 11.9 assists, 2.07 blocks, and 2.43 aces (all per set).
Now for the Pride’s potential matchups…
SUNY New Paltz Hawks: Under head coach Radu Petrus, the New Paltz Hawks have proven themselves as a dynasty alongside Springfield that has consistently seen the NCAA Tournament. This is New Paltz’s fourth straight, and fourth overall appearance at the Dance and they will face off against team in Springfield who took the regular season series 2-0, with a 3-1 March loss, and a 3-0 April defeat. With a roster armed with Anthony Bonilla, Matt Grace, and middle blockers Steven Woessner and Jake Roessler, the Hawks would head into the match poised with hunger for a repeat, and an itch for revenge against the top ranked Pride.
Wentworth Institute of Technology Leopards: Like New Paltz, Wentworth is in search for an established annual presence in the NCAA Tournament behind the young head coach Evin Giglio. Giglio, a Springfield graduate in 2010 and former middle blocker captain for the Pride, was named the 2017 AVCA’s Thirty Under 30 Award in recognition of 30 of the most promising young coaches in the country. How poetic it would be for Giglio to navigate a hard hitting Leopard’s squad to the championship game, against his former squad that is now the titan of Division III volleyball.