For the first time in program history, the top-ranked New Paltz men’s volleyball team has captured the NCAA Division III Tournament title, defeating No. 2 Springfield College, 3-1 (25-18, 25-23, 23-25, 26-24), in the championship match on Sunday afternoon at Nazareth College’s Kidera Gymnasium. The win also marks the first NCAA title for any New Paltz team.
“They deserve this. They worked hard and it was our dream to be national champions,” said head coach Radu Petrus. “Every coach wishes to have this group of players when you can have a lot of options and they can follow the strategy.”
He added, “I think this is huge because this is the first time that the university and the department have this trophy. For the program it’s important because the recruits may be more interested in the program and I can keep the same level in the future.”
Senior setter Christian Smith (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa) was named the NCAA Tournament MVP, while junior opposite Joe Norman (Bay Shore, N.Y./Bay Shore) and senior outside hitter Andy Fishman (Cornwallville, N.Y./Cairo-Durham) were named to the All-Tournament Team.
The Hawks conclude the 2016 season with a 33-2 overall record and a 30-0 mark against Division III teams.