The 12-team Division III NCAA Tournament concludes today with a finals rematch. Check out the breakdown of championship match and how to follow them it live.
Springfield (28-2) vs. SUNY New Paltz (27-8)
Match vitals: 4 p.m. in Springfield, Massachusetts
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match tweets
Season series: Springfield leads 2-0
Last NCAA Tournament title: Springfield (2015); SUNY New Paltz (2016)
How they reached NCAA finals: Springfield after earning a top-four seed and bye to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals swept Hunter in the quarterfinals and swept Stevens in the semifinals. SUNY New Paltz defeated Kean in five games in the play-in match, swept Vassar in the quarterfinals and then rallied to beat Wentworth in five games in the semifinals.
What to know: The two teams atop the preseason national coaches poll will meet in the final match of the season with the national championship on the line. Springfield and SUNY New Paltz for the second consecutive season will play each other in the Division III NCAA Tournament finals. The Pride coming off of a loss in the 2016 finals lead the nation with a .421 attack percentage. Springfield also hit above its season average in both its NCAA Tournament sweeps to reach this finals. Outside attacker Luis Vega has a combined 31 kills while hitting .643 so far in the NCAA Tournament, including a match-high 20 kills in the semifinals victory against Stevens Tech. Vega, the 2017 AVCA National Player of the Year, enters the championship with a nation-best .476 attack percentage and in the nation’s top five averaging 4.28 kills per game. He also had 10 kills on a .588 attack percentage in a sweep against SUNY New Paltz in the final week of the regular season. All-American setter Luis Garcia Rubio also guided the offense in that match to out-hit SUNY New Paltz .424 to .139. The defending NCAA champions SUNY New Paltz had more than a .300 attack percentage in both its NCAA Tournament quarterfinals and semifinal matches. Opposite Jake Rossler had a carer-high 26 kills on a .657 attack percentage in a quarterfinals sweep against Vassar on Friday. Rossler has six consecutive matches with double-digit kills, including a team-high 11 kills in the most recent loss to Springfield earlier this month. Along with Rossler, All-American middle attacker Steven Woessner had a match-high 18 kills as SUNY New Paltz rallied from a one-game deficit to beat Wentworth in five games in the semifinals on Saturday. Woessner has double-digit kills, multiple aces and at least a .400 attack percentage in every match during the NCAA Tournament.