2014 Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Division III Preseason All-American Teams released

A nationwide voting committee selected 20 players to the inaugural Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Division III Preseason All-American Teams.

The Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Division III Preseason All-American Teams recognizes the NCAA Division III men’s volleyball players projected to be the best in the nation during the upcoming season.


The two-time defending NCAA Division III champions Springfield led all teams with four Preseason All-American selections. The Pride had one First-Team All-American selection and three players named Second-Team All-Americans.

Juniata had three players make a Preseason All-American Team, including two First-Team selections. In addition, Nazareth, Carthage and Baruch each had two players named to an All-American Team.

Along with these five schools, New Paltz, Rivier, Stevens Institute of Technology, MIT, Stevenson, Elmira and NYU all had one player selected to a Preseason All-American Team.

Players eligible for the Preseason All-American Teams had to be on an active roster of a Division III men’s volleyball team for the upcoming season.

The 10-member voting committee for these teams was comprised of Division III men’s volleyball head coaches from around the nation.

The 10 players receiving the most votes were named Preseason First-Team All-Americans, while the next top 10 vote-getters were selected as Preseason Second-Team All-Americans.

Off the Block is a national-award winning website that launched in January 2011 and has become among the nation’s leaders in college men’s volleyball coverage.

Off the Block has annually presented the men’s volleyball Division I-II Preseason All-American Teams since 2011. However, this was the first year it expanded to include Division III Preseason All-American Teams.

Springbak, Inc. is the official sponsor of the 2014 Preseason All-American Teams. Springbak, Inc. produces high performance footwear used by professional athletes in the NFL, NBA, MLB, U.S. Olympic teams and the top college teams in the nation.


OFF THE BLOCK/SPRINGBAK, INC. PRESEASON FIRST-TEAM ALL-AMERICANS
Setter: Connor Wexter, Carthage
Outside attacker: Tim Ferriter, New Paltz
Outside attacker: Paul Kuhn, Juniata
Outside attacker: Jon Storm, Carthage
Outside attacker: Tim Zyburt, Nazareth
Middle attacker: Joe Bortak, Juniata
Middle attacker: Steve Coniglio, Baruch
Middle attacker: Luke Lawatsch, Nazareth
Middle attacker: Jimmy O’Leary, Springfield
Libero: Brendan Chang, MIT

OFF THE BLOCK/SPRINGBAK, INC. PRESEASON SECOND-TEAM ALL-AMERICANS
Setter: Connor Mortland, NYU
Setter: Michael Vellutato, Elmira
Opposite: Alex McColgin, Juniata
Opposite: Jack McKee, Baruch
Outside attacker: Austin Jacoby, Stevenson
Outside attacker: Angel Perez, Springfield
Outside attacker: Ryan Seifert, Stevens Institute
Outside attacker: Luis Vega, Springfield
Middle attacker: Aaron Almario, Rivier
Libero: Nick Ferry, Springfield

Others receiving votes: Trevor Barrett, Medaille; Kevin Aeckerle, Stevens Institute; Nick Capriccio, NYU; Christopher Husmann, New Paltz; David Evans, Stevens Institute; Keaton Peiper, Springfield; Jake Landel, UC Santa Cruz; Jorge Reyes, UC Santa Cruz; Christian Smith, New Paltz; Paul Syta, MIT; Grant Levermore, Nazareth; Adam Thatcher, Stevenson; Nick Benson, NYU; John Cunningham, Kean; Matt Elias, Juniata; Jake Hurwitz, UC Santa Cruz; Ed Jedziniak, Kean; Tom Kemmerle, Kean; John Lutjen, New Paltz; David Moler, Stevenson

OFF THE BLOCK/SPRINGBAK, INC. PRESEASON FIRST-TEAM ALL-AMERICAN PLAYER BIOS
Joe Bortak, Juniata
Bortak finished in the nation’s top five last season with a .451 attack percentage was among the CVC leaders with 119 blocks. The junior also earned 2013 First-Team All-American honors as he helped Juniata win the CVC championship and reach the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals.

Brendan Chang, MIT
As a freshman last season, Chang was second in the nation with 446 digs and a 3.35 digs per game average. In addition, Chang was named a 2013 First-Team All-American and helped MIT get in contention for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Steve Coniglio, Baruch
Coniglio was in the nation’s top 10 with a .438 attack percentage and was among his team leaders with 100 blocks last season. The senior also earned 2013 Second-Team All-American honors as he helped Baruch reach the NCAA Tournament semifinals.

Tim Ferriter, New Paltz
Ferriter, the 2013 AVCA Division III Newcomer of the Year, finished last season in the nation’s top 25 with a 3.29 kills per game average and a .343 attack percentage. The sophomore also was a 2013 First-Team All-American selection as New Paltz reached the UVC Tournament semifinals.

Paul Kuhn, Juniata
Kuhn last season had a team-high 32 aces and was among Juniata’s leaders with a 2.70 kills per game average. The junior also was a 2013 Second-Team All-American as he helped Juniata reach the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals.

Luke Lawatsch, Nazareth
Lawatsch was second in the nation last season with a .480 attack percentage and in the nation’s top 20 averaging 0.97 blocks per game. The junior also was a 2013 First-Team All-American as he helped Nazareth advance to the NCAA championship match.

Jimmy O’Leary, Springfield
O’Leary finished last season with a 0.99 blocks per game average and had 100 blocks. In addition, the senior was a 2013 Second-Team All-American selection as Springfield won its second consecutive NCAA championship.

Jon Storm, Carthage
Storm finished last season in the nation’s top 20 with a 3.42 kills per game average and had a team-high 28 aces during the regular season. In addition, the junior earned 2013 Second-Team All-American honors as Carthage reached the CVC Tournament semifinals.

Connor Wexter, Carthage
Wexter led the nation last season with an 11.49 assists per game average — one of two setters to finish with more than an 11 assists per game average. The senior also was named a 2013 First-Team All-American as he helped Carthage reach the CVC Tournament semifinals.

Tim Zyburt, Nazareth
Zyburt ended last season in the nation’s top 40 with a 2.95 kills per game average and was second on Nazareth during the regular season with 117 digs. The sophomore also helped lead Nazareth to the NCAA Tournament championship match.

OFF THE BLOCK/SPRINGBAK, INC. PRESEASON SECOND-TEAM ALL-AMERICAN PLAYER BIOS
Aaron Almario, Rivier
Almario had a nation-best 137 blocks last season and was third in the nation with a 1.22 blocks per game average. In addition, the senior was a 2013 Second-Team All-American selection as Rivier advanced to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals.

Nick Ferry, Springfield
Ferry finished last season leading Springfield and in the nation’s top 25 with a 2.42 digs per game average. The senior also helped lead the Pride to their second consecutive NCAA Division III national championship.

Austin Jacoby, Stevenson
Jacoby finished last season in the nation’s top 10 with a 3.79 kills per game average and was among the conference leaders with a .307 attack percentage. The senior also was selected to the CVCA All-East Division Team as Stevenson advanced to the conference tournament semifinals.

Alex McColgin, Juniata
McColgin finished last season leading Juniata and in the nation’s top 25 with a 3.16 kills per game average. The senior also earned CVC All-Tournament Team honors last year as Juniata won the conference championship to advance to the NCAA Tournament.

Jack McKee, Baruch
McKee last season had a team-high 2.66 kills per game average, including having a match-high 13 kills in the CUNYAC championship match. The junior also earned 2013 CUNYAC First-Team All-Conference honors as Baruch won the conference championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament semifinals.

Connor Mortland, NYU
Mortland, a former EIVA Newcomer of the Year winner, was in the nation’s top 10 with a 10.10 assists per game average last season. The senior captain also was a 2013 Second-Team All-UVC selection and helped lead NYU to a winning record.

Angel Perez, Springfield
Perez returns for his junior season after missing the entire 2013 season with a torn ACL. As a freshman, Perez earned the most valuable player at the 2012 Volleyball Hall of Fame Morgan Classic and the 2012 ECAC Rookie of the Year as he helped lead Springfield to the inaugural Division III NCAA championship.

Ryan Seifert, Stevens Institute
Despite coming off the bench for the majority of the season, Seifert ended last year leading Stevens and among the national leaders with a 3.48 kills per game average. In addition, Seifert helped Stevens reach the 2013 NCAA Tournament quarterfinals.

Luis Vega, Springfield
As a freshman last season, Vega finished in the nation’s top 25 for attack percentage and was among the team leaders with a 2.19 kills per game average. In addition, Vega had a match-high 13 kills in the NCAA championship match to help Springfield win back-to-back national championships.

Michael Vellutato, Elmira
Vellutato ended last season fourth in the nation with a 10.15 assists per game average. The senior also was a 2013 First-Team All-UVCA selection and USA Division All-Star Team selection as Elmira advanced to the conference tournament quarterfinals.