2015 Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Division III Preseason All-American Teams released

A nationwide voting committee selected 16 players to the annual 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.


Juniata led all NCAA Division III schools with four players being named Preseason All-Americans. The Eagles return a majority of their starters from last year’s team that reached the NCAA finals.

The Stevens Institute of Technology had three players earn Preseason All-American honors. In addition, SUNY New Paltz, Nazareth and the three-time defending NCAA champions Springfield each had multiple Preseason All-American selections.

Along with these five schools, Carthage, Kean, MIT and Rivier all had one player named to a Preseason All-American Team.

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

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

The eight players receiving the most votes were named Preseason First-Team All-Americans, while the next top eight vote-getters were selected as Preseason Second-Team All-Americans. In addition, a player had to receive votes on at least 50 percent of the submitted ballots to be eligible for the award.

Off the Block 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. This is also the second year the award expanded to include Division III Preseason All-American Teams.

Springbak, Inc. is the official sponsor of the 2015 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: Matt Elias, Juniata
Outside attacker: Bez Arslani, Kean
Outside attacker: Tim Ferriter, Stevens Institute
Outside attacker: Paul Kuhn, Juniata
Outside attacker: Chris Markuson, Rivier
Middle attacker: Joe Bortak, Juniata
Middle attacker: Luke Lawatsch, Nazareth
Middle attacker: Chad Albert, Juniata

OFF THE BLOCK/SPRINGBAK, INC. PRESEASON SECOND-TEAM ALL-AMERICANS
Setter: Keaton Pieper, Springfield
Setter: Christian Smith, SUNY New Paltz
Outside attacker: Jon Storm, Carthage
Outside attacker: Angel Perez, Springfield
Outside attacker: Chris Vaughan, Stevens Institute
Middle attacker: Daniel Smith, Stevens Institute
Middle attacker: Steven Woessner, SUNY New Paltz
Libero: Brendan Chang, MIT

PRESEASON FIRST-TEAM ALL-AMERICAN PLAYER BIOS
Chad Albert, Juniata middle attacker
Albert finished last season fifth in the nation with a 1.15 blocks per game average, including having 24 solo blocks. The junior also was a First-Team All-American selection in 2014 as he helped Juniata advance to the NCAA Tournament championship match.

Bez Arslani, Kean outside attacker
Arslani, the 2014 Skyline Player of the Year, finished last season among the national leaders with a 3.29 kills per game average. The senior also was a 2014 Second-Team All-American as he helped lead Kean to an undefeated conference regular season and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

Joe Bortak, Juniata middle attacker
Bortak finished last season second in the nation with a .439 attack percentage and was among the nation’s top 20 with a 1.00 blocks per game average. The senior also earned First-Team All-American honors last year as Juniata advanced to the NCAA Tournament championship match.

Matt Elias, Juniata setter
Elias was among the CVC and national leaders last season with a 9.63 assists per game average. He also was named the 2014 CVC Tournament most valuable player as Juniata won the conference title en route to reaching the NCAA Tournament championship match.

Tim Ferriter, Stevens Institute of Technology outside attacker
Ferriter transferred from New Paltz after ending last season in the UVC top 10 with both a 3.71 kills per game average and a .356 attack percentage. The senior also was selected as a First-Team All-American in 2014 as he helped lead New Paltz to the NCAA Tournament semifinals.

Paul Kuhn, Juniata outside attacker
Kuhn was among his team leaders in 2014 with a 2.08 kills per game average and was second in the CVC with 39 aces. The senior last season also was named a First-Team All-American and helped Junaita reach the NCAA Tournament championship match.

Luke Lawatsch, Nazareth middle attacker
Lawatsch was in the nation’s top 20 with both a 1.13 blocks per game average and a .356 attack percentage last season. The senior was also a Second-Team All-American last season and helped Nazareth win the UVC regular season championship.

Chris Markuson, Rivier outside attacker
Markuson led Rivier and was among the national leaders with a 3.22 kills per game average and added 37 aces. The junior also was a 2014 All-American honorable mention as he helped lead Rivier to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals.

PRESEASON SECOND-TEAM ALL-AMERICAN PLAYER BIOS
Brendan Chang, MIT libero
Chang finished last season second in the nation with a 3.25 digs per game average. The junior also earned First-Team All-American honors in 2014 as he helped lead MIT to qualify for a berth in the 10-team NCAA Tournament.

Angel Perez, Springfield outside attacker
Perez was among the team leaders last season with a 2.44 kills per game average, including having 18 combined kills in Springfield’s three NCAA Tournament matches. The senior in 2014 also helped the Pride win their third consecutive NCAA championship.

Keaton Pieper, Springfield setter
Pieper ended last season third in the nation with a 10.26 assist per game average and guided Springfield’s offense to a nation-best .331 attack percentage. The senior also was selected as a First-Team All-American in 2014 and helped the Pride three-peat as NCAA champions.

Christian Smith, SUNY New Paltz setter
Smith starting all but one match in 2014 and helped New Paltz finish the season leading the nation with a 12.34 assists per game average. The junior also earned First-Team All-American honors in 2014 as New Paltz advanced to the NCAA Tournament semifinals.

Daniel Smith, Stevens Institute of Technology middle attacker
Smith ended the 2014 season in the nation’s top 15 with both a .414 attack percentage and an 1.09 blocks per game average. The senior also earned Second-Team All-American honors in 2014 as Stevens reached the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals.

Jon Storm, Carthage outside attacker
Storm was among the CVC and national leaders last season with a 3.27 kills per game average and defensively had a 1.72 digs per game average. The senior also earned Second-Team All-American honors in 2014 as Carthage advanced to the NCAA Tournament semifinals.

Chris Vaughan, Stevens Institute of Technology outside attacker
Vaughan was among the UVC and national leaders with a 3.50 kills per game average last season. The junior also was a 2014 First-Team All-American selection as he helped Stevens advanced to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals.

Steven Woessner, SUNY New Paltz middle attacker
Woessner, the 2014 AVCA Newcomer of the Year, ended his freshman season in the nation’s top 20 with both a .358 attack percentage and 50 aces. The sophomore last season helped New Paltz win the UVC championship for the first time in its program history as it reached the NCAA Tournament.