BOSTON, Mass. – The Great Northeast Athletic Conference has announced the 2013 All-GNAC Men's Volleyball Teams and major awards following the completion of this weekend's championship in which Rivier University claimed the title following a 3-1 victory over Emmanuel College. The Raiders claimed three of the four major awards and found five of their student-athletes on the All-Conference teams.
Player of the Year – Steve Visentin (Cheshire, Conn.), Senior, Setter, Rivier University
Visentin helped lead the Raiders to their sixth consecutive GNAC title running the offensive show all season long. The setter led the GNAC in assists per set (10.09), recording 1,070 helpers over 33 matches. Over the year, the senior notched 74 kills while hitting an efficient .396 from the floor. Visentin totaled 134 digs, 72 total blocks and 19 service aces on the year.
Defensive Player of the Year – Matt Bynon (Burnt Hills, NY.), Junior, Libero, Rivier University
Bynon was a rock for the Raiders defensive unit this season, being named the GNAC Defensive Player of the Week six times over the 2013 campaign. The junior currently has a conference-high 289 digs and is averaging 2.75 digs per set. The libero posted 10+ digs in 12 matches on the year including a game-high 20 digs in the GNAC Championship victory over Emmanuel College.
Coach of the Year – Craig Kolek, Rivier University
Coach Kolek led the Raiders to the programs sixth consecutive GNAC Championship and Rivier in the AVCA Top 15 rankings throughout the majority of the season, reaching a peak ranking of No. 7 in the nation. Under Kolek, the Raiders posted another 20+ win season and now has a 362-184 (.663) record in his 17th season.
Great Northeast Athletic Conference – First Team Selections
Joining Visentin and Bynon on the GNAC All-Conference first team are juniors Aaron Almario(Alhambra, CA) and Terence Matatall (Danville, NH) and sophomore Chris Markuson(Cupertino, CA).
For the second year in a row, Almario was a First Team selection. He dominated the middle of the floor as he amassed 131 total blocks and 258 kills. The junior from Alhambra, California had a .371 hitting percentage as he appeared in 106 of the team's 127 sets played. Almario also led the Raiders in block solos with 24.
Markuson was also re-selected back to the GNAC First Team as the reigning Player and Rookie of the Year had a stellar sophomore season for the Raiders. The Cupertino, California native led the team with 373 kills in 2013. He also led the squad along the service line as he registered a team high 25 service aces and helped defensively with 146 digs.
A newcomer to the list of Rivier's GNAC First Team selections is Matatall. The local junior from Danville, New Hampshire had an incredible run for the team in 2013. Matatall helped the Raiders to their sixth straight title with 274 kills, a .375 hitting percentage and 111 total blocks – 14 of which of the block solo variety. He was also named GNAC Player of the Week three times this season.
Great Northeast Athletic Conference – Second Team Selection
Shane Spellman finishes the list of Rivier Men's Volleyball Student-Athletes who were selected to the GNAC All-Conference teams as he earned a spot on the Second Team. The native of Norwich, Connecticut, Spellman enjoyed a fine season in Raider Blue as he contributed 187 kills in 101 sets played in 2013. He was selected as the Sports Imports/AVCA and GNAC Player of the Week back on March 25th. The sophomore also contributed with a .273 hitting percentage and 68 total blocks.
Click on the link below for the full GNAC All Conference Team members:
The Raiders will return to action on April 26th as the #6 seed when they battle the #3 seed Juniata College in the 2013 NCAA Division III Men's Volleyball Championships hosted by Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Game time is set for 8pm in the Rockwell Cage.