FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WINTHROP, Mass. – Wentworth Institute of Technology junior setter Collin Ritter (pictured) has been named the 2017 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Men's Volleyball Offensive Player of the Year, as voted upon by the league's eight head coaches.
Ritter was one of two All-GNAC First Teamers for Wentworth, which had six student-athletes recognized overall on the three All-Conference squads after winning its second straight GNAC Championship this past weekend.
Meanwhile, Wentworth head coach Evin Giglio was selected as the GNAC Coach of the Year after a 27-6 overall record and current No. 5 ranking in the national poll, as his Leopards have earned an NCAA Tournament first-round bye and awaits the Juniata/NYU winner on Friday, April 28 at Springfield.
Ritter, a Feeding Hills, Mass. native, is averaging 9.30 assists per set entering NCAA Tournament play. He has also posted per-set marks of 0.46 kills (.410), 0.63 blocks and 1.55 digs.
Rivier University junior libero Garrett Bucklin was selected as the 2017 GNAC Defensive Player of the Year after leading the GNAC with a mark of 2.89 digs per set for the Raiders.
Joining Ritter and Bucklin on the All-GNAC First Team was the Lasell College senior trio of Tristan Davis, Patrick MacDonald and Jeffrey Vautrin. Davis and Vautrin finished first and second, respectively, among GNAC leaders in total kills, with Davis averaging 3.18 per set and Vautrin 3.17 per set. Davis was also fifth in the league with a .312 hitting percentage. Meanwhile, MacDonald averaged 2.08 kills and 1.54 digs per set for the Lasers.
Also earning First Team recognition Wentworth senior Jake Reed and Rivier senior Tyler Blank. Reed, the 2017 GNAC Tournament MVP, ranks first in the GNAC in kills per set (3.48) and third in hitting percentage (.327), while Blank averaged 10.18 assists and 1.18 digs per set.
Lasell College freshman middle blocker Janci Soto was voted as the GNAC Rookie of the Year. The first-year student-athlete from Lawrence, Mass. hit an impressive .357 for the year, averaging 1.40 kills, 0.39 digs and 0.85 blocks in 110 sets played.
Mount Ida College was also honored as the GNAC Institutional Sportsmanship Award recipient for men's volleyball. For the complete list of All-Conference and All-Sportsmanship honorees, please see below.
The GNAC is excited to expand its men's volleyball membership over the next two seasons, with Regis College joining in 2017-18 and Colby-Sawyer College adding the program and joining the conference in 2018-19.
Founded in 1995, the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) is an NCAA Division III association made up of 12 member institutions and over 3,000 student-athletes across the New England region. Each year, the GNAC sponsors and administers 17 championships, while balancing academic integrity, athletic opportunities and community involvement.
Tristan Davis, Lasell (Sr., OH/MB, Rochester, N.Y.)
Patrick MacDonald, Lasell (Sr., RS/S, Floral Park, N.Y.)
Jeffrey Vautrin, Lasell (Sr., OH, Chicopee, Mass.)
Tyler Blank, Rivier (Sr., S, Rochester, N.Y.)
Garrett Bucklin, Rivier (Jr., L, Jamestown, R.I.)
Jake Reed, Wentworth (Sr., OH, Arvada, Colo.)
Collin Ritter, Wentworth (Jr., S, Feeding Hills, Mass.)
Cameron Ponce, Johnson & Wales (RI) (So., S, San Jose, Calif.)
Jordan Aprea, Lasell (So., OH/DS, Newington, Conn.)
Grant Andler, Rivier (Jr., OPP, Chicago, Ill.)
Matt Heckler, Rivier (Jr., MH, Simi Valley, Calif.)
Ian Wolski, Rivier (Sr., OH, Westfield, Mass.)
Sean Mullen, Wentworth (Sr., OH, Longwood, Fla.)
Alex Potts, Wentworth (Sr., RS/MH, Niverville, N.Y.)
Win Kittivatcharapong, Emerson (So., RS/MB, Bangkok, Thailand)
Erik English, Emmanuel (Mass.) (So., OH, Simi Valley, Calif.)
Kanila Chang, Johnson & Wales (RI) (Jr., OH, Orlando, Fla.)
Donovan Kelley, Johnson & Wales (RI) (So., MB, Encinitas, Calif.)
Mike Hansen, Wentworth (Sr., MH, Rochester, N.Y.)
Jon Roat, Wentworth (Jr., RS/OH, Macedon, N.Y.)
Mike Rogachefsky, Wentworth (Sr., L, Rochester, N.Y.)
Offensive Player of the Year – Collin Ritter, Wentworth
Defensive Player of the Year – Garrett Bucklin, Rivier
Rookie of the Year – Janci Soto, Lasell
Coach of the Year – Evin Giglio, Wentworth
Institutional Sportsmanship Award – Mount Ida
Joshua Turner, Albertus Magnus (Sr., Trumbull, Conn.)
Paul Bleu, Emmanuel (Jr., Auburn, Mass.)
Jacob Di'Tore, Emerson (So., Salem, N.H.)
Matt McCarthy, Johnson & Wales (Fr., Millis, Mass.)
Jeffrey Vautrin, Lasell (Sr., Chicopee, Mass.)
Nathan Sprengle, Mount Ida (So., Williamstown, N.J.)
Matt LaSance, Rivier (Sr., Madison, Conn.)
Mike Hansen, Wentworth (Sr., Rochester, N.Y.)
– #TheGNAC –