INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Elms College men's volleyball team, led by fourth-year head coach Sheila Gisbrecht, will play Baruch College on Saturday, April 21 in a first round match at 7:00 p.m. in the inaugural NCAA Division III Championship.
Competition at the championship site will be April 27-29 at Blake Arena and hosted by Springfield College.
This is the first year for a separate Division III men's volleyball championship. Previously, Division III schools participated in the Molten Division III Men's Invitational Volleyball Championship, which was formed in 1997. While the NCAA sponsors a national collegiate championship for men's volleyball, programs from all three divisions competed for just four berths. With the addition of the Division III championship, only Divisions I and II will now be eligible to compete in the National Collegiate Championship.
Six conferences were awarded automatic qualification for the championship. No teams were selected from Pool B, which consists of independent schools and schools that are members of conferences that do not meet the requirements for automatic qualification. The final three berths were reserved for Pool C, which consists of schools from automatic-qualifying conferences that are not the conference champion and any remaining Pool B teams.
The Blazers enter NCAA championship action with a 20-7 overall record and are the winners of the 2012 New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Championship. Baruch, ranked 11th in the nation as of April 11, won the City University of New York Athletic Conference (CUNYAC) Championship and take the court with an overall record of 23-15. Elms is 0-3 against the Bearcats since 2009.
Against top-seeded Endicott College in the tournament title match, Elms was led by NECC tournament Most Valuable Player (MVP) junior Stephen Cameron (Newington, Conn.) who smashed a match-high 17 kills, served up three aces, totaled eight digs and assisted on three blocks. Sophomore Bryson Rainey (Brookline, Mass.) added 12 kills and nine digs, while senior Carlos DeLeon (Carolina, Puerto Rico) added 10 kills and eight digs in the winning effort. The offense and defensive efforts were paced by sophomore setter Daniel Lebron (San Juan, Puerto Rico) who dished out 47 assists and notched 22 digs.