Lexington, Ky. - April 18, 2016 - The Springfield College men's volleyball team had four student-athletes earn American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Men's Division III All-America recognition.
Juniors Luis Vega (Corozal, Puerto Rico) and Luis Garcia Rubio (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) earned a first-team accolades, while Ricardo Padilla Ayala (San Juan, Puerto Rico) and Julian Welsh-White (Collingswood, N.J.) received second-team honors.
As a program, Springfield College has had 22 student-athletes garner AVCA All-America recognition a total of 42 times, including 28 first-team selections. No other Division III program in the country has received more AVCA All-American selections than the Pride's 42 honorees. Springfield has had at least two AVCA First-Team All-America selections in each of the past seven seasons.
After earning first-team recognition in 2014, Vega had a dominant year on the pin for the Pride. The Physical Education major currently leds the team with 342 kills, hitting at an impressive .408 clip, and ranks second on the squad in digs (154), blocks (78), and aces (39). He ranks in the top 12 nationally points per set (6th, 4.56), kills per set (3.68), and owns the best hitting percentage of any outside hitter in Division III (12th overall, .408).
Garcia Rubio has had a breakout junior season fo the Pride and has led an offense that currently ranks number one in all of college volleyball with a team hitting percentage at .386. The Business Mangament major is second in the country with 11.29 assists per game and has registered 92 digs, 43 blocks, and 13 aces this season.
Padilla Ayala earned the second AVCA All-America honor of his career as he was named to the first team last season when he was the Division III National Newcomer of the Year. This season, the sophomore Business Management major has produced 245 kills while hitting .352, and leads the team with 52 aces to go along with 136 digs and 32 blocks.
In his first season at Springfield after transferring in from Ball State, Welsh-White made an immediate impact in the middle for the Pride. The Sport Management major leads the team with 112 blocks and ranks fourth in the nation in blocks per set (1.17). He has recorded 138 kills at a .487 clip and tacked on 42 digs and 32 aces.
The second-seeded Pride will play in the NCAA Division III Championship this upcoming weekend at Nazareth College. Springfield will play Kean in the quarterfinals on Friday evening at 5:30 pm.