Springfield College men's volleyball has more national championships than any other program as the Pride has captured 11 titles, including NCAA Division III National Championships in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, and 2018.
Under the direction of three-time AVCA Division III National Coach of the Year, six-time EIVA Division III Coach of the Year, and two-time ECAC Division III Coach of the Year, Charlie Sullivan, the Pride has had 26 student-athletes earn All-America recognition a total of 50 times, including 32 AVCA Division III First-Team All-Americans. Sullivan recently received USA Volleyball's All-Time Great Coach award in the Donald S. Shondell Contemporary Division for 2015, as he became the 27th recipient of this prestigious award, which goes to an active coach or one that has been retired for less than five years.
In addition, Springfield has had five AVCA Division III National Player of the Year recepients and four AVCA Division III National Newcomer of the Year honorees.
The Springfield College men's volleyball team captured its third-straight NCAA Division III National Championship after a three-game sweep of host Juniata College. Set scores for the Pride were 25-20, 25-21, 25-21. Springfield wrapped up the season with a 27-8 record, including a 26-3 mark in Division-III play. The Pride put on an offensive show in the championship match, hitting .431 as a team.
Springfield College Men's Volleyball Competes in World University Games
For two weeks in July, 17 members of the Springfield College community represented Team USA as the men’s volleyball program competed at the 2013 World University Games in Kazan, Russia.
Fresh of its second-straight NCAA Division III National Championship, the Pride changed their Maroon and White uniforms for the Red, White, and Blue as they competed against Australia, Estonia, Belarus, Russia, Korea, Hong Kong, China, Chile, and Macau on the international stage.
West Coast Travel
2018 marked the ninth-straight season that Springfield opened up its season on the West Coast. The Pride started the year with a four-set loss to Concordia Irvine, before rallying for a 3-0 victory over Hope International to complete the trip.
Sullivan Earns Bronze
Springfield College head men's volleyball coach Charlie Sullivan and the United States Men's Volleyball team rallied from a two-set deficit to defeat Russia to claim the Bronze Medal at the 2016 Olympic Summer Games. Sullivan was a member of the coaching staff and served as a scout coach throughout the competition.
The U.S. came back from an 0-2 deficit to beat Russia, 23-25, 21-25, 25-19, 25-19, 15-13 at Maracanazinho arena. Despite losses to Canada and Italy, the United States picked up critical wins against eventual gold-medalists Brazil, France, and Mexico in pool play, and later bested Poland in the quarterfinals to reach the medal rounds. After a five-set loss to the Italians, Team USA put together a remarkable comeback against Russia to claim the fifth men's volleyball medal for the U.S. Men in the Olympic Games. This came after Sullivan helped lead the 2015 U.S. Men's National Team to the FIVB World Cup Title. It was the first time the U.S. Men have won the World Cup since 1985 and the first time ever that they have qualified for the Olympics at the World Cup.
Regulars at the NCAA's
Since the inception of the NCAA Division III Men's Volleyball Championship in 2012, only two schools have appeared in each of the first seven championships. Springfield, which was the top seed in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, and now 2018 and the No. 2 seed in 2015, and 2016, has been joined by Kean as the only other seven-time participant.
An Efficient Offense
For the seventh consecutive season, Springfield is the number one ranked offense in Division III men's volleyball in overall team hitting percentage. In 2018, Springfield is hitting at a .375 clip, which is .035 better than Endicott's hitting percentage of .340 which is second-best nationally. Last season, the Pride posted a .414 hitting percentage, which was the highest hitting percentage of any program, men or women, at the NCAA Division I, II, or III level, and was was over .100 points above the next team. Springfield recorded a .382 clip in 2016, a .329 percentage in 2015, hit .331 as a team in 2014, notched a .381 clip in 2013, and posted a team hitting percentage of .387 in 2012.
The Pride has won 11 Division III titles, hoisting the Molten Invitational National Championship trophy six times 1997, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2008, 2010, before capturing five NCAA Division III Championships. The Pride swept Carthage in Blake Arena for the inaugural NCAA Division III title in 2012 before sweeping host Nazareth in 2013 and host Juniata in 2014 for its third-straight crown. The 2017 NCAA Division III title was captured in Blake Arena in four sets against SUNY New Paltz, while the Pride claimed the 2018 title in Wisconsin in a three-set sweep of Stevens.
No Place Like Home
The friendly confines of Blake Arena and Dana Gymansium have been especially benefitial to the Springfield College men's volleyball team as of late, as the Pride went undefeated at home the past two seasons, and own a 46-1 mark from 2016-2018. This year, the Pride rattled off a 17-0 record at home and pushed its home winning streak to 35 matches, with its last setback on Alden Street coming to New Paltz on April 2, 2016.
Division III Supremacy
Since the NCAA began its sponsorship of the Division III Men's Volleyball National Championship in 2012, Charlie Sullivan and company have produced a 187-11 record against Division III opponents. Since 2008, the Pride has played in 10 of 11 national championship games, including being victorious in seven of them. Dating back to the implementation of the NCAA Division III Men's Volleyball National Championship in 2012, the Pride won three titles in a row, added titles in 2017 and 2018, and finished as the national runner-up twice.
Top of the Polls
The Springfield College men's volleyball team set a new record for most consecutive weeks ranked No. 1 in the American Volleyball Coaches Assocation (AVCA) Division III National Poll. To date, Springfield has been No.1 for the last 30-consecutive polls, besting the previous mark of 23 that was once held by Juniata from 2004-2006. The AVCA poll started in 1996.
Springfield has won 87 of the 91 sets against Division III opponents in 2018. In fact, earlier that season, Springfield set a NCAA men's volleyball record for most consecutive sets won as it reeled off 43 before dropping a set at New Paltz on March 31. The Pride bested the previous mark of 32 that Hawaii set in 2017.
NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships
Nick Ferry'14 became the third member of the Springfield College men's volleyball team in the last four years to earn a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Postgraduate Scholarship. The NCAA selects 29 male athletes and 29 female athletes from all spring sports and all three divisions to receive a $7,500 award for postgraduate study. In addition to Ferry, AJ Nally '10 and Mike Pelletier '13 were also honored for their achievements on and off the court.
Honored at Fenway
The Springfield College men's volleyball program was honored by the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Wednesday, May 7, 2014. Head coach Charlie Sullivan was chosen to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.