ATTLEBORO, Mass. – The NECC announced its 2018 Men’s Volleyball All-Conference teams and major award winners on Monday afternoon. The awards were voted on by the conference’s seven coaches following the conclusion of the regular season. Endicott College and Elms College dominated the All-Conference teams, with five and four selections, respectively, and all four of the major awards. Dean College and Eastern Nazarene College were also represented on the All-Conference teams.
Endicott sophomore Bryn Lipton (Rockford, Ill.) was voted the 2018 NECC Player of the Year, while his teammate Ryan Healy (Fair Lawn, N.J.) was named Defensive Player of the Year. Elms College freshman Jovanny Torres (Juncos, P.R.) was named Rookie of the Year, and his head coach Sheila Gisbrecht was voted Coach of the Year by her peers.
Player of the Year Bryn Lipton is joined on the first team by his teammates Donovan Dey (Fairport, N.Y.) and Troy Riorden (Fairport, N.Y.). Rookie of the Year Jovanny Torres was voted onto the first team, as was his teammate, fellow freshman Jeremy Torres (Juncos, P.R.). Eastern Nazarene senior Kenny Sorensen (Quincy, Mass.) rounds out the first team selections.
The second team features two Elms Blazers, freshman Martin Acevado (Carolina, P.R.) and Gabriel Reis Levy (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). Endicott also placed two on the second team, as Seth Braquet (Destrehan, La.) and Jeremy Doski (Sandy Hook, Conn.) were honored. Dean had two student-athletes earn second team accolades in their first season in the league, Joel Carmona (Lawrence, Mass.) and Diondre Gomes (Fairhaven, Mass).
NECC Player of the Year – Bryn Lipton, Endicott (So., OH, Rockford, Ill.)
In his sophomore campaign, Lipton led the Gulls to a 23-4 overall record, including an undefeated 12-0 regular season conference record, and Endicott’s first national poll appearance since 2011. The Gulls topped the nation in kills per set, behind Lipton’s team-leading 3.30 per set, which is good for fourth in the league. The sophomore also led the conference with 1.14 service aces per set in league play. Overall, Lipton is tenth in Division III in points per set with 4.29. The 2017 NECC Rookie of the Year was a two-time 2018 NECC Player of the Week selection (weeks ending 2/5/18 and 4/2/18), as well as a one-time American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) NCAA DIII Player of the Week (1/30/18).
NECC Defensive Player of the Year – Ryan Healy, Endicott (Jr., L, Fair Lawn, N.J.)
Junior Ryan Healy played an integral role in Endicott’s success, helping the Gulls to a 23-4 overall record, an undefeated 12-0 regular season conference record, and Endicott’s first national poll appearance since 2011. He was the anchor of an Endicott defense that held opponents to a 0.088 hitting percentage, the best in NCAA Division III. Healy leads the Gulls in digs per set with 2.38, good for fourth in the conference. He was the primary passer for Endicott, having committed just six errors (only two of which were in conference play) on 318 receive attempts for a .981 average.
NECC Rookie of the Year – Jovanny Torres, Elms (Fr., S/OH, Juncos, P.R.)
Freshman Jovanny Torres helped lead Elms to a 20-6 overall record, and a 10-2 regular season conference record. He played a key role in Elms’ 2018 NECC Championship win, for which he was named to the All-Tournament team. Elms is fifth in NCAA Division III in hitting percentage at 0.298, led by Torres’ .376 clip, which puts him second in the conference, as well as 14th in Division III. He also ranks sixth in the conference in blocks per set with 0.62. Torres earned NECC Rookie of the Week honors once (week ending 3/26/18).
Coach of the Year – Sheila Gisbrecht, Elms
In her tenth season at the helm for the Blazers, Gisbrecht led her squad to a 20-6 overall record, and a 10-2 regular season record. Elms went on to win the NECC Championship, besting an Endicott squad that had won five straight heading into 2018. Her team led the conference in blocks per set (2.06), and was second in kills per set (12.23), assists per set (11.40) and service aces per set (2.02). The Blazers are ranked in the top ten in NCAA Division III in four major statistical categories, winning percentage (rank-10, .769), opponent hitting percentage (rank-5, 0.134), hitting percentage (rank-5, 0.298) and aces per set (rank-10, 2.02). Gisbrecht was also named the 2017 NECC Women’s Volleyball Coach of the Year, after leading the women to the NECC Conference Championship. This is Gisbrecht’s third NECC Coach of the Year accolade on the men’s side (2012, 2009).
First Team All-NECC
Donovan Dey, Endicott (So. OPP, Fairport, N.Y.)
Bryn Lipton, Endicott (So., OH, Rockford, Ill.)
Troy Riorden, Endicott (Sr., OPP, Fairport, N.Y.)
Kenny Sorensen, Eastern Nazarene (Sr., OH, Quincy, Mass.)
Jeremy Torres, Elms (Fr., OH, Juncos, P.R.)
Jovanny Torres, Elms (Fr., S/OH, Juncos, P.R.)
Second Team All-NECC
Martin Acevedo, Elms (Fr., OH/MH, Carolina, P.R.)
Seth Braquet, Endicott (Jr., MB, Destrehan, La.)
Joel Carmona, Dean (Fr., RS, Lawrence, Mass.)
Jeremy Doski, Endicott (Jr., OPP, Sandy Hook, Conn.)
Diondre Gomes, Dean (Fr., OH, Fairhaven, Mass.)
Gabriel Reis Levy, Elms (Sr., OH/OPP, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
All-NECC Sportsmanship Team
Dean Bennett, Dean (Sr., MB, Bloomfield, N.J.)
Andrew Shaw, Eastern Nazarene (Sr., OH, Weymouth, Mass.)
Pablo Ortiz, Elms (So., MH, Newington, Conn.)
Gabe Felicetti, Endicott (Fr., MB, Charlestown, R.I.)
Armando Bahena, Lesley (Fr., OH, South Boston, Mass.)
Oscar Chavez, Newbury (So., OH/DS, Independence, Ore.)
Zach Rogers, Southern Vermont (Fr., S/MB, North Bennington, Vt.)