Six players from Puerto Rico have been selected for a new college men’s volleyball national accolade.
Off the Block announced on Saturday that Alderson Broaddus’ Francisco Cabrera, BYU’s Gabi Garcia Fernandez Fort Wayne’s Pelegrin Vargas, George Mason’s Brian Negron and Springfield’s Joseth Irizarry Feliciano and Sergio Figueroa Velez were named to the inaugural Off the Block All-Puerto Rican Team.
The All-Puerto Rican Team recognizes the best NCAA men’s volleyball players from Puerto Rico during the season. In addition, the All-Puerto Rican Team is comprised of the top six players, regardless of position, and selected by the Off the Block editors and contributors.
The Division III NCAA champions Springfield led all schools with two players on the All-Puerto Rican Team. Alderson Broaddus, BYU, Fort Wayne and George Mason also each had one representative on the team.
The All-Puerto Rican Team was created in an effort to celebrate the contributions of Puerto Rican players to college men’s volleyball. Numerous student-athletes from Puerto Rico in NCAA men’s volleyball history have earned All-American honors and helped their teams win championships.
Off the Block is a website that launched in 2011 and is the nation’s leader in college men’s volleyball coverage.
2018 Off the Block All-Puerto Rican Team
Setter: Brian Negron, George Mason
Opposite: Gabi Garcia Fernandez, BYU
Outside attacker: Francisco Cabrera, Alderson Broaddus
Outside attacker: Pelegrin Vargas, Fort Wayne
Outside attacker: Sergio Figueroa Velez, Springfield
Middle attacker: Joseth Irizarry Feliciano, Springfield
Francisco Cabrera, Alderson Broaddus
Cabrera was among the national leaders with a 3.12 kills per game average and had a career-high 151 digs. Among the All-Independent Team selection’s top performances this season featured a season-high 21 kills on a .325 attack percentage in a postseason loss to Coker.
Joseth Irizarry Feliciano, Springfield
Feliciano had a team-best .496 attack percentage, including hitting more than .450 in all three NCAA Tournament matches. The All-American also was among the Division III national leaders with a 0.83 blocks per game average and helped Springfield repeat as national champions.
Gabi Garcia Fernandez, BYU
Fernandez, the AVCA National Newcomer of the Year, finished in the nation’s top 25 with a 3.49 kills per game average, including having double-digit kills in all but two matches during his freshman season. The former member of the Puerto Rican Youth National Team also was third in the MPSF and among the nation’s leaders averaging 0.46 aces per game as he helped BYU win the MPSF championship and reach the VolleyFour.
Brian Negron, George Mason
Negron was third in the EIVA with a 9.28 assists per game average and guided George Mason to the conference’s second-best attack percentage at .270. The 2018 EIVA Player of the Year also was in the conference’s top 10 with 27 aces and had a career-high 120 digs as he led the Patriots to the EIVA regular season championship.
Pelegrin Vargas, Fort Wayne
Vargas was third in the MIVA and in the nation’s top 15 averaging 3.75 kills per game, including having more than 20 kills in three conference matches. The All-MIVA selection and member of the Puerto Rican Men’s National Team also was in the conference’s top 10 with 29 aces and helped Fort Wayne finish ranked in the national coaches poll.
Sergio Figueroa Velez, Springfield
Velez, the 2018 AVCA Division III National Player of the Year, led Springfield with a 2.91 kills per game average on a .315 attack percentage. He also was third in the nation among Division III players averaging 0.70 aces per game as he helped Springfield win back-to-back national championships.